GAZA, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – The ruling Palestinian faction Fatah plans to incorporate 3,000 of its police officers into Gaza law enforcement agencies as part of a reconciliation with the Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip, a Fatah leader told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"The final date for the decision is not confirmed yet, but the agreement foresees reforming security forces in the Gaza Strip by involving the representatives of the [Fatah-controlled] security forces of the Palestinian National Authority, which existed until the 2007 split," said Faiz Abu Aita.
Last month, rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah reached a deal for the first time in seven years on forming a united government and holding general elections. Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the West, has been in power in Gaza since 2007, while rival Palestinian faction Fatah holds sway in the West Bank.
Hamas has up to 12,000 police officers in Gaza. The 3,000 Fatah officers were left on the sidelines after the conflict began. Prior to the split, the enclave had 20,000 special forces officers, mostly belonging to Fatah.
The West Bank's police include 25,000 officers, according to local media.
The factions earlier signed similar reconciliation agreements, but have yet failed to make progress on forming a united government.