Palestinians say Egypt’s Sissi nearly reconciled Hamas, Fatah

Hamas last month agreed to a reconciliation deal with the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party brokered by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, but the initiative was met by a counteroffer by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports in Arab media.

Sissi presented Abbas with the deal when the two met in early July in Cairo amid spiraling tensions between the terrorist group and its West Bank-based rival, Fatah.

The deal included Hamas dissolving a committee it formed to administer tasks historically carried out by the PA, as well as a commitment by Abbas to end harsh measures he has levied against Gaza in recent months, which include reductions in electricity supply, medical aid and governmental salaries for residents of the Strip.

Unnamed Palestinian sources tell the London-based al-Hayat daily that Abbas initially accepted Sissi’s offer, but quickly reneged and instructed his intelligence Majid Faraj to present Hamas with a counteroffer.

The Gaza-based new site Safa also quoted unnamed Palestinian officials who confirmed the report.

Hamas responded to Faraj’s offer by publicly announcing its own demands for any reconciliation deal.

— Dov Lieber

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