The Palestinian President’s advisor, Nabil Amr, said that a national unity government is expected within a week and that names of the new cabinet members are being discussed.

Amr’s remarks came less than 24 hours after rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, agreed yesterday to a national unity government in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah, ending months of bloody confrontations in the Palestinian territories.

Amr was quoted as saying “a Fatah-linked minister will take the post of deputy-prime minister after being named by president Mahmoud Abbas”.

The interior ministry’s post will be an independent minister, given approval by the Palestinian president, Amr made clear.

The Hamas-formed executive force of the Palestinian interior ministry, called ‘illegal’ by Abbas, will be integrated into the Palestinian security forces, while a national security council is likely, the President’s advisor maintained.

Meanwhile, various reactions have been reported with respect to the said agreement. Washington emphasized the need for any new Palestinian cabinet to abide ‘clearly and honestly’ to peace-deals with Israel, while it is awaiting more details regarding the Palestinian agreement.

“ Either Hamas or Fatah should recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements with the Hebrew state”, spokesman of the US State Department, Gonzalo Galigos, said.

French Foreign Minister, Philip Due Plai, welcomed the agreement, calling the international community to support the would-be government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.

Spokesperson of the German government, Olirsh Filhelm, called the Makkah deal the “first step in the right track”.

Moscow hailed the deal, considering it a step towards stability in the Palestinian territories.

The European Union announced that it is currently considering the deal, while the EU’s foreign relations chief, Jafeir Solana, welcomed Saudi Arabia’s efforts to mediate such an agreement.

The UK welcomed the deal, calling it a ‘significant’ development towards peace in the Middle East.

United Nations Secreary General, Pan Ki-Moon, welcomed the Palestinian agreement, voicing hope that it would help restore calm to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokeswoman, said Israel expects the new Palestinian government to respect international conditions regarding recognition of Israel, acceptance of past signed agreements and clear-cut renunciation of violence.

Palestinian President, Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas and his Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, along with senior representatives of both factions including political bureau chief of Hamas Khaled Mash’al, and Mohammad Dahalan of Fatah, agreed on a four-point deal. This involved ending bloody infighting and agreeing on a national unity government.

The deal, concluded over the past couple of days, called for prohibiting the spilling of Palestinian blood, taking necessary measures to prevent recurrence of internal violence, forming a national unity cabinet and adopting dialogue as a means to resolve differences.