Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, submitted his official resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas, and received from him an official notice to form the new unity government.Abbas arrived in Gaza on Thursday evening and met with Haniyya. Abbas handed Haniyya an official letter assigning him to form the new government. Haniyya now has a maximumm of three weeks to form the government, but could have two additional weeks as an extension before officially presenting his new cabinet to Abbas.

Senior Fateh and Hamas leaders met on Thursday evening at the office of legislator Ziad Abu Amro, and discussed the issues that were blocking the launch of constitutional procedures for forming the government.

Abbas and Haniyya met shortly after the Hamas-Fateh meeting was concluded.

Sameer Al Mash-Harawi and Majid Abu Shammala represented Fateh, while Khalil Al Hayya and Dr. Mahmoud Zahhar represented Hamas.

The current Palestinian government stated on Thursday that it welcomes the Mecca agreement, and that it is determined to implement it.