June 14th 2007, gunshots pepper the air marked the demise of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, and a damaging split between the faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Gaza’s new rulers, Hamas. Now a number of Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, are in Cairo to lay the foundations for a national unity government and the end of the 18-month schism between Gaza and the West Bank. They hope to announce a national unity government as early as the end of March.
Five committees are to be set up to look at parliamentary and presidential elections as well as prisoner exchange and the role of the security forces. However, it remains to be seen how America and Europe will react to a Palestinian unity government including Hamas, which the west considers a terrorist group.