The step taken by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in which he decided to prolong the national dialogue over the National Agreement Document presented by the Palestinian prisoners.

The ultimatum that Abbas gave for Hamas ended yesterday, however, Hamas demanded more time for dialogue before deciding on a referendum over the issue.

In joint press statement issued after their meeting, Hamas and some other Palestinian factions said this meeting was meant to discuss Abbas’ decision to prolong the dialogue, and described it as "step in the right direction," however it needs to provide an appropriate environment.

The factions said they agreed to devote more time and effort to allow the national dialogue to succeed and to consider the prisoners document as a good base for national unity, if some amendments are made on it.

The statement said, an open and serious dialogue will help finding ways to agree, especially if all factions are involved, especially Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, who boycotted some previous sessions.

Despite prolonging the dialogue, Abbas is to set a date for a national referendum over the prisoners’ document within two days.

The executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has approved the referendum.

If the national dialogue fails, the Palestinians will have to go to polling stations within 40 days to vote for or against the document.

The referendum according to some law experts will have some political consequences. Palestinians will hold early elections if the referendum is held because it will rule between two political entities, the president and the government.  The one, who looses the referendum, must resign.