US media is reporting that Fatah and Gaza, the two main rival Palestinian factions have announced a reconciliation agreement. According to an LA Times report:
April 23, 2014, GAZA CITY — The two main rival factions of Palestinian politics and society announced a reconciliation deal Wednesday that would mend a seven-year rift by forming a unity government and holding new elections.
Following two days of discussions between delegations of Fatah and Hamas, leaders of the groups announced the agreement at a joint news conference.
‘This is the good news to tell our people: The era of division is over,’ Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared. Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad said the sides aimed at forming a national unity government within five weeks.
The transitional government is planned to be based on professionals and independent political figures, with no members of either political group.
The reconciliation agreement calls for elections for parliament and presidency to be held around six months after the unity government is formed.
Palestinian government was torn asunder in 2007, when Hamas forcefully wrested control of the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, after the Islamist militant movement won elections the year before.
Since then, Gaza has been ruled by a Hamas government headed by Haniyeh, with the West Bank under control of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported in March on what was described as the worst economic crisis facing Hamas since the group seized power in Gaza seven years ago. US media reported in January that Hamas was under what was described as severe economic strain as a result of losing income from the shuttered Gaza smuggling tunnels. The GMBDW also reported in January on what was described the “rapprochement” between Hamas and Iran following a three year breach as well as on the continuing decline of relations between Hamas and Egypt.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.