Hamas and Fatah announce deal to form Palestinian unity government

By January 20 2017, 15:10 Latest News No Comments

Unity gov MoscowFollowing three days of reconciliation talks in Moscow, rival Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas have announced a deal to form a national unity government before holding elections.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a press conference on Tuesday: “We have reached an agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government” of national unity.

After the government is formed, the Palestinians would set up a national council, and hold elections.

Al-Ahmad added: “Today the conditions for [such an initiative] are better than ever”.

The Hamas terror organisation has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, after carrying out a violent war against Fatah to take control of the Strip, following elections in 2006 which Hamas won.

Fatah is the governing party of the West Bank and is headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. It is considered a moderate faction of Palestinian politics.

In September 2016, the Palestinian government postponed the first municipal polls in the West Bank and Gaza in 10 years, after the Ramallah-based high court ruled they should be held only in the Fatah-run West Bank.

The Palestinian representatives also met on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The last Hamas-Fatah unity government collapsed in June 2015. The agreement between the two rival factions, which was was established in April 2014, was among the causes for the collapse of US-mediated peace talks between Israel and the PA.

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