DEBKA Exclusive: Hamas agrees to hand over Gaza to Abu Mazen
DEBKAfile's sources report exclusively on Thursday that during the talks held in Cairo during the last week between the political leadership of Hamas and Egypt, Hamas agreed for the first time to dismantle its rule in Gaza and transfer control to the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). The Egyptian delegation to the talks was headed by Gen. Khaled Fawzi, head of the country's general intelligence service.
Hamas made such a step contingent on receiving guarantees from Egypt that the transfer of authority will not affect the command or the operations of the Hamas military wing, the Izzudin al-Qassam brigades, and that the brigades will be allowed to operate as an independent military force.
In order to facilitate progress in the talks, Egypt agreed for the first time to allow Hamas to hold a meeting of its entire political leadership in Cairo. All of the members of the leadership from around the Arab world, not only Gaza, came to the Egyptian capital.
Our sources report that Egypt will now focus its efforts on convincing the Palestinian Authority chairman to agree to and carry out the plan, and is planning a large-scale diplomatic initiative for this goal. Abbas, however, is not enthusiastic about accepting the burden of governing Gaza, especially if its main military force will be that of Hamas.
Over the last few days, Egypt asked US President Donald Trump to raise the topic with Abbas when the two leaders meet next week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. The Egyptians have already convinced Nickolay Maldenov, the UN envoy to the Middle East, to support the plan. That is the reason why Maldenov on Thursday welcomed the developments from the Cairo talks and said "unity is essential for realization of Palestinian national aspirations".