Hamas, Fatah unveil Palestinian reconciliation deal
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal, saying they will seek to form a unity government soon.
It comes as the peace talks between President Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel near collapse.
Hamas and Fatah split violently in 2007. Previous reconciliation agreements have never been implemented.
Israel’s prime minister said Mr Abbas would have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas. “You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far he hasn’t done so,” warned Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinian officials responded by saying reconciliation is an internal matter and uniting Palestinian people would reinforce peace.
Abbas sent a delegation from his Fatah party to Gaza for reconciliation talks earlier this week.
Wednesday’s announcement was made at a news conference by representatives of Fatah and Hamas.
The factions said they planned to form an interim unity government - headed by Mr Abbas - within five weeks and hold parliamentary elections within six months.
“This is the good news we tell our people,” Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, told reporters. “The era of division is over.”