Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to head a interim unity government to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections.
Fatah’s Abbas met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshall in Doha to finalise moves toward national reconciliation following four years of acrimony and separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hamas confirmed its commitment to the venture. “We are serious about healing the wounds and the reconciliation of our people on the basis of political partnership and national unity,” said Khaled Meshall.
The make-up of the government will be announced later this month in Cairo and will be composed of technocrats and independents.
Israel has already rejected the idea as the Jewish State views Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas has chosen to “abandon the way of peace” by reaching an agreement with Hamas.
In a statement, Netanyahu said: “It is either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel. You can’t have them both.”
The Middle East Quartet of the EU, US, United Nations and Russia has demanded that Hamas renounces violence and recognises Israel.
Euronews’ correspondent in Doha, Maha Barada, said: “So the Palestinians have agreed to resolve their differences, but the devil’s in the detail. While the agreement is significant, there remains an obstacle — the deadlock in negotiations with Israel.”
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