Text of Fatah-Hamas Unity Deal Leaked

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A reconciliation deal signed by Hamas and Fatah this week not only aims to relieve a decade-long rift between the two Palestinian political but has also revived hopes of a positive change in the lives of people living in the Gaza Strip.

Days after rival Palestinian factions signed a unity deal under the auspices of Cairo, the text of the accord has been leaked.

The deal comes a month after Hamas dissolved the committee which runs the Gaza Strip and said it was willing to work towards reconciliation with its West Bank rivals. Our suffering is one. However, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said before negotiations began that the terror group would agree that decisions regarding war and peace would be collective, national matters.

Head of the Governmental Commission for Borders and Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Shaikh said in statements to the official Palestinian radio station (Voice of Palestine) that the prime minister will hold a meeting with heads of security apparatuses in West Bank city of Ramallah soon.

The agreement requires Hamas to refrain from any activity that would foment a confrontation with Israel, Haaretz reported, citing the London-based Arabic language newspaper Asharq Alawsat.

The deal also includes handing over of Rafah crossing in the Gaza Strip to the unity government by November 1.

The figure is however a fraction of the more than 20,000 police officers employed separately by Hamas. Much of the worldwide community has supported the rapprochement, believing that Palestinian unity will serve both to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and enhance the prospects of jump-starting peace negotiations with Israel.

In an interview with The Observer, the former Prime Minister said: "In retrospect I think we should have, right at the very beginning, tried to pull [Hamas] into a dialogue and shifted their positions".

Hamas has repeatedly refused to disarm and dismantle the 25,000-strong fighting force it controls in the Gaza Strip.

"We welcome the continuing engagement of Egypt, and we expect all Palestinian factions to move forward in good faith in further process, in order to enable the legitimate Palestinian Authority to resume full control in Gaza", she added. Among the sanctions was the Palestinian's decision to not pay Israel for electricity provided to Gaza, leading to a serious cut in the number of hours a day that electricity is available.