Starting Dec. 1, the government of the Palestinian National Authority will regain full control of Gaza, and 3,000 presidential guardsmen will be deployed on the Strip’s streets and on the crossings to Egypt and Israel. These are some of the main points of the agreement, mediated by the Egyptians, signed Thursday in Cairo by Hamas second-in-command Saleh al Aruri and Fatah’s chief of staff Azzam al Ahmad.
The agreement has healed a wound, which had been open for over 10 years, with devastating consequences not only on a political level. The signing of the agreement was followed by demonstrations of joy in the streets of Gaza by thousands of people. The people of Gaza hope that the newly found national unity will give new impetus to the reconstruction of the Strip, still torn apart after the Israeli offensive “Protective Margin” in 2014, and more recently struck by the punitive measures imposed by President Abu Mazen to force the Islamists to give up control over Gaza.
The Israeli leaders also celebrated Thursday’s achievement. And not because of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation. In Israel, the decision announced by the U.S. Department of State that the United States will leave UNESCO in 2018, in protest against a presumed West Bank-Palestinian and anti-Israeli attitude of the U.N. agency, has been welcomed as a victory.