Palestinian sources have reported, Thursday, that the Palestinian delegates, headed by Azzam al-Ahmad of the Fateh movement, left the Gaza Strip heading back to the West Bank, after finalizing the reconciliation agreement between Fateh and Hamas.Head of the dissolved Hamas-led Palestinian Government in Gaza, Ismael Haniyya, stated that extensive contacts were made with Arab and international countries to inform them of the unity and reconciliation agreement.

Haniyya thanked Egypt for supervising and mediating reconciliation talks, and for its central extended role that eventually led to finalizing it.

On Wednesday, a delegation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) signed an agreement with the Hamas movement in Gaza to implement the previously signed Cairo and Doha unity and reconciliation agreements.

In related news, Israel prevented Walid al-Awad, member of the Political Bureau of the Palestinian People Party (PPP), and member of the Central Committee of the PLO, from leaving Gaza to the West Bank to attend a meeting of the Committee.

Al-Awad issued a press release confirming that Israel denied his request to leave Gaza, and denouncing the ongoing Israeli violations.

Several Israeli leaders, including Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that President Mahmoud Abbas “effectively ended the peace process, and caused its collapse by signing the deal with Hamas.”

The United States said its support to any Palestinian government “depends on respecting and abiding by all previously signed peace agreements, and the willingness to advance direct talks with Tel Aviv.”

Referring to President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Whoever chooses Hamas is not willing to achieve peace.”

Netanyahu added that Abbas “still has time to back down”, and void the agreement with Hamas.

On his part, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat said the reconciliation and unity agreement is the path to real and comprehensive peace in the region.