Hamas, Fatah 'to Form Unity Government'

Politics » DIPLOMACY | April 23, 2014, Wednesday // 19:26
Bulgaria: Hamas, Fatah 'to Form Unity Government' Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will head the interim government that is to be formed within five weeks. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have reached a reconciliation deal, after claiming to represent Palestine as rivals since 2007.

The two movements' representatives announced attempts to form a unity government would be formed in the coming weeks.

Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas earlier sent a delegation to Gaza, which has been controlled by Hamas over the last few years.

At a joint news conference, Fatah and Hamas said an interim government is to be forged within five weeks and parliamentary elections will be due in six months, the BBC reported.

The interim cabinet is to be led by Mahmoud Abbas, whose faction currently controls parts of the West Bank.

Hamas however will also gain by the deal, as it has been facing increased isolation.

The movement is considered a terrorist organization by the Israel, the US and the EU.

Israel has expressed anger at the agreement between Hamas and Fatah, with Prime Minister Netahyuahu saying Abbas (who has enjoyed relatively better relations with Tel Aviv) would have to choose between Israel and Hamas.

Participants in Wednesday's conference were quoted as saying that the past divisions had harmed Palestine's goal of establishing an independent state with Jerusalem as a capital.

Under the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which is the political body seeking international recognition within the UN, the two movements will now represent some 4 million Palestinians.

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Tags: Mahmoud Abbas, Abbas, Netanyuahu, Palestine, Hamas, Fatah, Israel
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