Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)
Hamas and Fatah have asked Egypt to postpone the transfer of responsibility for the Gaza Strip from Hamas to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority for ten days.
Under an agreement signed by Hamas and Fatah in Cairo in mid-October, the PA is supposed to take full responsibility for Gaza by Friday. Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting the PA in 2007 from the territory.
“Hamas and Fatah requested that the Egyptian brothers postpone the completion of the government’s takeover of its responsibilities in the Strip...from December 1 to December 10,” Fayez Abu Eitah, a Gaza-based Fatah official, said, reading a joint Hamas-Fatah statement on Wednesday night.
“This is to complete the arrangements to guarantee the achievement of reconciliation.”
The statement came after a meeting between Hamas, Fatah, PA and Egyptian officials in Gaza.
According to PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, since Hamas and Fatah signed the mid-October agreement, Hamas has barely enabled the PA to take responsibility for Gaza. “We have not surpassed the 5% [marker] on the issue of empowering the government [in Gaza],” Sheikh told PA television on Saturday.
Hamas spokesman Salah Bardaweil objected to Sheikh’s comments, tweeting: “You all have taken over the ministries, authorities and crossings.”