Final reconciliation agreement to be announced in Cairo press conference today

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Hani

Negotiators from rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Islamist group Hamas will discuss security in the Gaza Strip at unity talks in Cairo on Tuesday, including a proposal that would see Fatah security personnel deployed to Hamas-dominated territory.

"An agreement was reached today between Hamas and Fatah under Egyptian sponsorship", a statement from Hamas leader Ismail Haniya's office said, without giving further details.

According to Reuters, the details regarding the agreement are expected to be revealed during a press conference this afternoon in Cairo, where the talks between the two rival Palestinian factions took place.

Since then, attempts to reconcile the two groups and form a Palestinian power-sharing government have stalled.

Palestine's ambassador to Egypt and its Permanent Representative to the Arab League Jamal Shobaki also said that President Mahmoud Abbas has issued instructions to the Fatah delegation to make every effort to achieve national reconciliation and end the division.

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Hamas announced last month that it was handing over administrative control of the Gaza Strip to a unity government headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Multiple previous reconciliation talks have failed.

The deal would see Hamas, which has the most powerful armed Palestinian faction with an estimated 25,000 well-equipped fighters who have fought three wars with Israel since 2008. The loss damaged Abbas' credibility in the eyes of the West and Israel, after years of being their main Palestinian diplomatic counterpart.

"We are meeting in Cairo in hopes of formulating a roadmap titled National Reconciliation", wrote Hamas member Izzat Reshiq on his Twitter account earlier this week.

An Egyptian source close to the talks said intelligence chief Khaled Fawzi had followed the talks closely.

Reconciliation could also pose a dilemma for global efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal since Hamas has not recognised Israel, unlike the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organisation.

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