Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas agree to reconcile after a decade-long split.
The relationship soured in 2006 after Hamas won the election, then seized the Gaza Strip from Fatah after a period of violence. Since then there have been many attempts at reconciliation between the between the rival Palestinian factions: Saudi Arabia (2007); Yemen (2008); Egypt (2011); Qatar (2012); Gaza (2014). The latest talks were mediated by Egypt in Cairo and the successful outcome is being treated with cautious optimism.
The people living in Gaza have been caught in the middle of the rift between Hamas and Fatah. The UN says living conditions there have deteriorated in the past 10 years because of a blockade by Israel and Egypt.
Complicating matters, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, which is based in the West Bank, has been using its administrative power to pressure Hamas in Gaza. It cut the salaries of government employees living there and asked Israel to reduce the electricity supply to the territory. This summer Gaza’s two million residents sometimes had just three hours of electricity a day.
So will this deal succeed where others have failed?
Presenter: James Bays
Guests: Ahmed Yousef – senior Hamas official
Ghassan Khatib – former Director, Palestinian Authority government’s media centre
Yezid Sayigh – Senior Associate, Carnegie Middle East Center
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