Country Risk

Palestinian Authority-Hamas reconciliation reduces risk of civil, inter-state conflict but uncertainty over security arrangements undermines viability

13 October 2017

Key Points

  • The announcement of a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the PA indicates a reduced risk of civil and interstate conflict between the Palestinian factions and Israel.
  • Hamas leadership is likely being motivated by a pragmatic assessment of its own weakness rather than a strategic shift towards conflict with Israel.
  • The viability of any long-term agreement is likely dependent on Hamas’ willingness to concede control of its militant wing – this will be non-negotiable for Israel.


The Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Islamist group Hamas announced an initial reconciliation agreement on 12 October.

Representatives of the PA, which controls the West Bank, and the Islamist militant group Hamas, that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, reached an agreement after two days of negotiations that were held in Cairo and facilitated by Khaled Fawzi, the head of Egyptian General Intelligence.

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