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  • Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (L)  of Fatah shakes hands with Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City October 2, 2017.

    Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (L) of Fatah shakes hands with Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City October 2, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Egyptian authorities praised both groups for their “positive attitude" and prioritizing of Palestine's national interest.

Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas have agreed to political reconciliation, according to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. 

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“Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement at dawn today under generous Egyptian sponsorship," Haniyeh said in a public statement released on the group's website.

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Palestinian Authority delegation, said that part of the agreement requires that the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be administered by presidential guards operating under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Nov. 1.

"Security measures will be applied and adopted by the Palestinian Authority where the presidential guards will be spread all over the borders," al-Ahmad said, according to Al-Jazeera.

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.

The agreement comes after two days of negotiations in Cairo between the two Palestinian political groups. A source close to the Ahram journal also reported that both groups will meet within 30 days to organize presidential and legislative elections.

While Egyptian authorities praised both groups for their “positive attitude and prioritizing of national interest,” Egyptian state TV reported that Cairo will host subsequent talks starting on Nov. 21. On that date, Fatah and Hamas will reportedly hash out the details of an agreement that will unify their leadership into a single entity. The goal: to exercise a cohesive administration of Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

It added that the two groups have concorded to “empower the national unity government to perform its duties in the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank by Dec. 1, 2017 at the latest."

Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation administration but could not agree on the details.

Some opinion polls have shown that if parliamentary elections were to be held now, Hamas would win both in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the seat of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

Abbas is 12 years into what was meant to be a four-year term as president and opinion polls show him to be unpopular. He has no clear successor and no new presidential election appears imminent.

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