Palestinian factions sign unity deal in Cairo 3MAy11

The Palestinian Information Center –   3 May 2011

Palestinian factions headed by Hamas and Fatah have signed an agreement ending the national split, sources in Cairo told the Palestinian Information Center on Tuesday.

Among those who gathered for the signing were Hamas’s political bureau chairman Khalid Mishaal as well as Azzam al-Ahmed and Samir al-Rafaa’i from Fatah, Ramadan Shalah from Islamic Jihad, Ahmed Jibril from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (General Command), Mahir al-Tahir from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Mohammed Ibrahim from the Egyptian intelligence services.

A high-profile Egyptian official said that Egypt directed an invitation to attend a signing ceremony on Wednesday at Arab foreign ministers as well as those from China, Russia, Turkey, and European countries, Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and First Vice-President of the European Commission Cathy Ashton.

The official said arrangements were being made in full swing to cap off procedures relating to the signing and that the there was a very positive atmosphere. He said parties agreed that the upcoming stage would require increased efforts and “political will” to turn the deal into a reality.

It is scheduled after the signing to begin consultations for forming the new government. An Arab committee headed by Egypt will go to the Palestinian territories to see that the deal is implemented and that obstacles are removed ahead of carrying out the deal’s articles, especially those relating to security and the integration of West Bank and Gaza institutions.

Senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil said in a press statement that Hamas signed two documents, one was the Egyptian paper as was, and the other was the inter-Palestinian understandings paper, a reference for disputed issues listed in the Egyptian paper.

“Talk about Hamas signing the Egyptian paper as is without the inter-Palestinian understandings paper is not accurate. That’s because we signed the Egyptian paper as is, but we added the inter-Palestinian understandings paper that contains Hamas’s observations and amendments required for the Egyptian paper,” Bardawil said.

“Whatever the case, we in Hamas are determined to move forward in achieving reconciliation and ending the split that only serves the Zionist enemy,” he went on to say.

(australiansforpalestine.com / 03.05.2011)

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