Since 2007, Hamas has ruled Gaza. But that could be about to change. The Jerusalem Post's Adam Rasgon reports that the terror group has agreed to relinquish control of Gaza to its rival faction, the Palestinian Authority:
In an overture to its rival Fatah, Hamas agreed on Sunday to dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip, allow the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority government to take over in its place and hold general elections.
For the past several months, Fatah and its chairman Mahmoud Abbas have called on Hamas to announce and implement such a plan.
Since Hamas ousted the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority from Gaza in 2007, Hamas and Fatah have essentially established two separate governments – one Hamasrun government in Gaza and another led by the PA in the West Bank. While the two parties have signed a number of reconciliation agreements aimed at creating one shared government, they have failed to implement any of them.
Hamas’s announcement on Sunday followed separate talks in Cairo last week between Egyptian and Fatah officials and between Egyptian and Hamas officials. The groups of Fatah and Hamas officials were still in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Sunday evening.
Fatah Vice Chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul welcomed Hamas’s announcement, but said his party would like to confirm its veracity.
“If the news is correct, that is good and positive,” Aloul was quoted as saying on Fatah’s official Facebook page. “But we do not want to act with haste regarding what is being said in the news.” The last time Hamas and Fatah tried to reconcile, in May 2014, the two parties agreed to permit the PA government to take responsibility for Gaza and hold elections.
However, the PA was ultimately given a limited mandate as a Hamas shadow government continued to control most of Gaza’s government institutions...