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The Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement of October 2017

An Opportunity to End Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis and Permanently Overcome the Blockade

SWP Comment 2017/C 44, 06.11.2017, 7 Pages Research Areas

Ten years after Hamas violently seized power in Gaza, and following a string of failures to reconcile the Palestinian factions, there are now signs of a rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas. In September 2017 the Hamas leadership announced it would dissolve the administrative committee it had established in March, opening the way for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take over the government in the Gaza Strip. In mid-October representatives of Hamas and Fatah signed an Egyptian-mediated reconciliation agreement. On 1 November PA forces were deployed to the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Even if there are still major obstacles to merging the two security apparatuses, establishing a unity government, restoring the democratic process and achieving comprehensive reconciliation – the chances of the rapprochement preventing another round of armed conflict and improving the situation for the population in crisis-ridden Gaza are considerably better this time around. Germany and its European partners should help to accentuate the positive dynamics, support permanent improvements of the situation in Gaza through practical steps and work towards comprehensive reconciliation between the Palestinian factions.