The Rafah border crossing was handed over with a ceremony to mark the occasion. AFP / SAID KHATIB
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Hamas handed over control of the Gaza Strip's borders with Egypt and Israel to the Palestinian Authority Wednesday in the first key test of a landmark reconciliation accord agreed last month. The handover signaled that the Hamas movement remained firmly committed to a deal that would eventually see it give up full control of the Gaza Strip and bring an end to a 10-year rift with rivals Fatah.Palestinian Authority and Hamas officials were also there overseeing the handover.Israel, which has fought three wars with Hamas in Gaza since 2008, has said it will not deal with any Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas unless the movement disarms and recognizes the country, among other demands.The U.S. has also called on Hamas to disarm and recognize Israel.The Rafah crossing was not open Wednesday despite the official handover, though Hamas is hoping it will be in the coming days or weeks.Officials from both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas accused Israel of trying to disrupt the deal.
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