Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fatah, Hamas in unity govt 'understanding' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Fatah, Hamas in unity govt 'understanding' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have reportedly reached a landmark agreement to settle their differences and set up a transitional government ahead of elections in Gaza and the West Bank.

The two factions have been in conflict for four years, leaving Hamas in power in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank.

But protests in both Palestinian territories last month helped bring pressure on both sides to reconcile.

The deal will see an interim unity government formed until Palestinian elections can be held later this year.

Most Palestinians believe the long-running split has undermined the chances of a peace deal with Israel.

And yet Israel refuses to negotiate with Hamas, which it and many western nations regard as a terrorist organisation.

The Israeli prime minister has told Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas he cannot have peace with both Israel and Hamas."