Hamas reportedly agreed to “respect” past peace agreements with Israel as part of a new national-unity deal with Fatah. The Associated Press reported that leaders of the rival Palestinian factions, meeting in Mecca, reached a deal Thursday on a national unity government. Hamas’ agreement falls short of accepting past peace deals one of the conditions for a resumption of international aid to the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas is to draw up a new government within five weeks, according to a formula agreed on in the talk, based partly on an agreement drawn up by Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, such as Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshaal began talks Wednesday after weeks of bloody clashes between the two movements in the Gaza Strip. A Fatah official said the interior minister, who controls most security services, will be an independent candidate proposed by Hamas and approved by Abbas. It wasn’t clear whether the government would meet the other international conditions for a resumption of direct aid to the Palestinian Authority recognition of Israel’s right to exist and renunciation of terrorism. Hamas until now has rejected the conditions.
Fatah, Hamas reach agreement