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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)
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.

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