In the West Bank and Gaza Strip the unity accord agreed between Hamas and Fatah has raised hopes that the infighting that has led to political inertia and hundreds of deaths is now over.
The deal, brokered in Cairo, came as a surprise after months of failed talks.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah, said Palestinian unity is a key requirement for his people: “Hamas are a part of the Palestinian people. I cannot exclude them, they are a part. Love them or loathe them they are a part of our people. Please Mr Netanyahu, you have to choose between settlement activity and peace.”
The parties split more than four years ago when violence broke out after Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006. Hamas then wrested control of Gaza in 2007.
Hamas are also fully behind the move. Hamas spokesperson Ismail Radwan said: “The reasonable response to Israeli declarations is to fully implement this agreement on the ground and be totally committed to it.”
Israel responded by saying there can be no peace between the Jewish state and Hamas.
Israeli President Shimon Peres said that he believed that Hamas would take over the West Bank and sabotage any chance of a Palestinian state.