Hamas warns of Palestinian reconciliation collapse

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah speaks during a press conference in Gaza City, on Dec. 7, 2017. Hamdallah's visit aims to push forward the implementation of a reconciliation deal Egypt brokered between Hamas and its rival Fatah party in October. (AP)
Updated 21 December 2017
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Hamas warns of Palestinian reconciliation collapse

GAZA CITY: A senior leader in Palestinian movement Hamas warned on Thursday of the potential collapse of a reconciliation agreement made with political rivals Fatah.
“The reconciliation is collapsing and everyone must intervene to save it,” Yahya Sinwar, the Gaza head of Hamas, told a meeting of young people.
“We took major steps to achieve reconciliation and we offered a lot of concessions, but the reconciliation is still in the same place.”
Under an Egyptian-brokered deal Hamas was meant to hand over control of Gaza to the internationally recognized Palestinian government, which is dominated by Fatah, by Dec. 10.
But the deadline passed and Hamas still maintains control in the Palestinian enclave.
The Palestinian government, based in the West Bank, has assumed responsibility at checkpoints between Gaza and neighbors — Israel and Egypt — but Hamas is still fully in control of the police and security apparatuses.
Fatah officials accused Hamas of refusing to give up real power, while Hamas said Fatah was not really committed to the process.
A key sticking point was the future of Hamas’s vast armed wing.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in a 2007 near civil war.
The UN has warned failure of the reconciliation would risk another round of conflict.
Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and others, has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.


US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

Updated 20 April 2019
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US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.
Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!,” Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.
The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.
Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.
It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.
The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.