Hamas has begun ceding control over Gaza border crossings to the Palestinian Authority as part of a political reconciliation agreement with Fatah, according to Press TV.
Witnesses report that Hamas border control detail packed up their equipment and departed in trucks as PA authorities moved into the Rafah crossing in Erez, Kerem Shalom and the Egyptian border.
Information director at Hamas border crossing authority Hisham Adwan assured that PA authorities would assume full control of the Gaza border.
Hamas officially ceded control over the Rafah border to the PA's senior border official Nazmi Muhanna. Palestinian and Egyptian flags were hoisted at the Rafah border, according to PressTV.
The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal, celebrated by Palestinians living in the occupied territories, has inflamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In reference to the agreement, he said that Israel would not tolerate “imaginary appeasement, where the Palestinian side is reconciling at the expense of our existence.”
Netanyahu’s office declared that Tel Aviv wouldn't hold talks with a Palestinian unity government unless Hamas disarmed, officially recognizes Israel and a host of other conditions, which Hamas has dismissed.
The reconciliation deal, which was sealed last month during negotiations between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo, Egypt, breaks a decade-long rift between the two political groups which has hampered aspirations for a Palestinian state. While the full extent of the agreement's details have not been officially reported, it's believed that it also covers issues related to administration and security.
Egyptian authorities praised both groups for their “positive attitude and prioritizing of national interest.” Cairo will host subsequent talks starting on Nov. 21 where Fatah and Hamas will reportedly hash out the details of an agreement that will unify their leadership into a single entity. The goal being to exercise a cohesive administration of Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.