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What needs to be solved for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation

Fatah agreed Wednesday to an Egyptian-backed deal, but tension over the Goldstone report and deep distrust have left many skeptical.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the West Bank city of Jenin Tuesday. His rare public foray outside his presidential palace was an attempt to reassure Palestinians there was no truth to rumors he encouraged Israel's bombing of Gaza.

Mohamad Torokman/REUTERS

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In Ramallah Wednesday, Fatah officials initialed a preliminary agreement aimed at mending the rift with Hamas, though the Islamic militants balked – a sign that the conditions for reconciliation may not have ripened.

A powersharing deal is aimed at ending more than two years of divided rule between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza that has sapped Palestinian public morale, stymied the political system, and dimmed the prospects for achieving an agreement with Israel to establish a Palestinian state.

"The question is, if the Palestinians can't find reconciliation between ourselves, how can we reconcile with the Israelis?" asks Mohammed Dejani, a political science professor at Al Quds University. "People are fed up and tired, and there's a lot of despair."


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