As the sixth round of Palestinian reconciliation talks take place in Cairo, Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmed reported progress; both sides agreed to create a joint security force in the Gaza Strip. Since June 2007, Hamas and Fatah have participated in a bloody civil war and have repeatedly failed to reconcile.
Recent optimism notwithstanding, a Hamas cell reportedly plans to assassinate West Bank Fatah leaders by July 12, the date Egypt claims an agreement will be reached. For its part, Fatah has also derailed unity efforts. Last month, six died after Fatah instigated a firefight with Hamas in the West Bank.
Palestinian reconciliation still appears unlikely. As Jonathan Schanzer notes, for more than three decades, Hamas and Fatah have vied for power and seek each other’s demise.