Representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas agreed to form a government of national unity, and have called for general elections within five to six weeks, officials said early Wednesday. Published on April 23, 2014, by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).
The agreement was reached during talks held in Gaza since Tuesday.
According to Secretary General of the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), Bassam al-Salihi, a ‘road map plan’ had been agreed upon. The plan starts with the formation of a national unity government that will be in charge of organizing the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, which will take place at most within six months.
Khalil al-Hayya (Hamas) said in a statement, Wednesday, that noticeable progress had been made in the talks. He added that the talks were conducted in a positive atmosphere and are expected to continue throughout Wednesday.
The PLO delegation, which arrived Tuesday to the Gaza Strip, is headed by Azzam al-Ahmad, a leader of Fatah. On arrival, Al-Ahmad was greeted by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, and his number two, Moussa Abu Marzouq.
Haniyeh called to cement the Palestinian reconciliation ‘in order to form one government, one political system and one national program.’
Fatah and Hamas have announced the formation of a unity government several times in the past few years, but have never implemented the decisions made.
Fatah, the main party in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in 2011 to end the political division between the Fatah-ruled West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
However, most clauses of the agreement were ignored.
The last meeting in Gaza saw an agreement between the organizations just a week before the nine-month target originally set for an Israeli-Palestinian deal, and the U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel teeter on the edge of collapse.
Hamas is opposed to the current round of Palestinian negotiations with Israel.
The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections. In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.