Hamas and Fatah announce reconciliation agreement in Cairo

Palestinian factions announce milestone reconciliation

He went on to say that, according to the terms of the deal, Presidential Guard units linked to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) would be deployed along Gaza's southern border with Egypt no later than November 1.

"I received a detailed report from the Fatah delegation about what was agreed and I considered it the final agreement to end the division", he said.

The deal would also see both Hamas and Fatah form an interim government before elections.

Palestinian member of Fatah Central Committee, Azam al-Ahmed (R), and Hamas deputy head of the politburo Saleh al-Aruri (L) sign an agreement between the two Palestinian factions as Egyptian Intelligence Minister Khalid Fawzi (C, back) looks, in Cairo, Egypt, 12 October 2017.

"President Abbas has instructed the government, and all of its institutions, to work hard towards the implementation of what has been agreed to in Cairo", Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.

The most contentious question between the rival Palestinian factions that announced a reconciliation deal Thursday is still up in the air.

The talks follow a key breakthrough last week, when PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited Hamas-run Gaza for the first time since 2015 and his ministers officially took control of government departments there. Abbas has said he would only return to Gaza if Hamas hands over power, while Hamas has said the military wing is not up for discussion.

Also under the deal, Gaza's border crossings with Israel and Egypt will be handed back to the Palestinian Authority in the coming weeks, with a November 1 deadline, according to Ahmad.

During this period, the source added, the Ramallah government will pay all outstanding salaries owed to Gaza's public servants.

"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.