Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza have been celebrating the news of a provisional agreement with the rival Fatah group to end their bitter feud.
The deal between Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah provides for an interim government ahead of elections within a year.
Hamas spokesperson, Hamad El-Rakeb said:
“To come today to an initial agreement means that we have started to find a solution for a most difficult problem. We expect that this deal with Egyptian and Arab support will make reconciliation become a reality.”
For a while now, ordinary Palestinians have been urging their leaders to resolve their deep divisions.
But reaction by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been less than positive.
“The Palestinian Authority must chose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas. Peace with both is impossible because of the Hamas goal of wanting to destroy the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu.
Islamist Hamas has run Gaza since ousting Fatah in 2007. Israel is concerned that elections could hand them control of the West Bank, currently run by Abbas and his more secular supporters.