Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (L) shakes hands with Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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Unity talks between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas began on an optimistic note Tuesday, with a top Hamas delegate saying he was "full of hope" for a road map to reconciliation.The Western-backed Fatah party lost control of Gaza to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the West and Israel, in fighting in 2007 . But last month Hamas agreed to cede powers in Gaza to President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-backed government in an Egypt-mediated deal.This sparked the political rupture between Hamas and Fatah which eventually led to their short civil war in Gaza in 2007 .Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government, but despite that deal, Hamas' shadow government continued to rule the Gaza Strip.
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