Egypt and Palestinian Reconciliation Agreement

On May 3, 2011, Fatah and Hamas sealed a reconciliation agreement in Egypt which ended four years of Palestinian disunity.

Egypt and the Palestinian question: Landmarks:

– The 1948 war

– The 1956 Tripartite Aggression

– The June 5, 1967 war

– The 1973 October war

– In 1959, Egypt tabled a proposal, whereby the Palestinian people would have full representation at the Arab League.

– In 1962, Egypt called for the establishment of a Palestinian state

– In May 1964, Egypt called for the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

– In September 1972, former President Anwar al-Sadat floated the idea of a provisional Palestinian government.

– Taking part in the Casablanca African Summit in January 1961, Egypt urged African countries to put an end to Israel’s penetration of the continent.

– Egypt was influential in passing a number of United Nations Resolutions in support of the Palestinian cause including: General Assembly Resolution 3236 of 1974, which reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine and General Assembly Resolution 3375 of 1975, which called for inviting the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with other parties.

– In January 1976, Egypt called upon the Secretary of State of the USA and the Foreign Minister of the then USSR in their capacity as sponsors of the International Peace Conference to extend an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization to attend Conference sessions upon their resumption.

– In November 1977, Egypt extended invitations to all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization to attend a conference in Cairo in preparation of the Geneva International Peace Conference.

– Egypt was catalytic in prompting the US decision in December 1988 to open a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

– Egypt was party to all peace agreements signed between the Palestinian Authority and Israel from the Oslo Accords to the Reconciliation Agreement.

Efforts to conclude an agreement of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas were two-phased.

Phase I started in November 2002 and ended in 2007 with numerous rounds of national dialogue in an attempt to overcome differences and put the Palestinian house in order. The goal was to agree on a political platform which delegates power to the Palestinian Authority in decision-making and in negotiating with Israel.

Phase II began on August 30, 2008 and ended with the signing of the reconciliation agreement on May 3, 2011. Between those two dates, the world was witness to the dangerous rift between Fatah and Hamas, the armed conflict between them which reached a peak in 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.

On October 22, 2008, Egypt called for a comprehensive dialogue between the Palestinian factions, which kicked off on February 23, 2009.

The reconciliation agreement calls for a Palestinian Government to be formed, and for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in preparation for the declaration of the Palestinian State in September 2011.

Source : Egypt State Information Service