Monday, May 18, 2009

Palestine: Fatah and Hamas, agree to form joint security force

Xinhua reports the Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas, currently holding the fifth round of reconciliation talks in Cairo, agreed on Sunday to form joint security forces in the Gaza Strip, said a senior Fatah official at the talks.

"Hamas and Fatah agreed to form joint security forces in Gaza, which will be in charge of the security service in Gaza until January," Nabil Shaath, a leading Fatah delegate, said in a statement at the end of Sunday's talks.

He added that representatives of all the Palestinian factions will come to Cairo for the final round of reconciliation talks on July 5, when the draft document of a unity deal would be discussed.

"On July 7, the day of the signing of the final agreement, a committee of Egyptian and Arab officers would go to Gaza to supervise the rebuilding of Palestinian security forces," he said.

The pan-Arab al-Jazeera satellite TV quoted Egyptian sources assaying that Cairo insists the draft agreement of the current round of talks be presented to the final round of talks on July 7.

According to Shaath, a committee in charge of the unity government will discuss on Monday the Egyptian proposal of forming a Palestinian national committee directed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The proposed committee would not have any international or political mission beyond preparing for elections, rebuilding the security services and supervising the reconstruction of Gaza.

Al-Jazeera also quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Egyptis imposing "positive pressure" on Fatah and Hamas delegations to broker a deal.

A joint governing body that ends the rift between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Fatah-dominated West Bank is the major topic of the meeting, which started Saturday afternoon at the sponsorship of Egypt. However, the two parties have yet to agree on the political platform of the proposed unity government.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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