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Palestinians announce deal on government

The two leading Palestinian factions announced the formation of a unity government, in preparation for a general election.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzuk (L) a head of the delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)and senior figure in the mainstream Fatah party of president Mahmud Abbas Azzam al-Ahmad (2L), Hamas prime minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (2R), and deputy head of the Palestinian Parliament Ahmad Bahar (R) chat during a meeting with members of the PLO delegation and leaders of Palestinian factions at his home in Gaza City on April 22, 2014. The Palestinians have relaunched efforts to reconcile their rival leaderships in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as US-brokered peace talks with Israel teeter on the edge of collapse (UPI/Ahmad Shaath/Palestinian PM Media)
Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzuk (L) a head of the delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)and senior figure in the mainstream Fatah party of president Mahmud Abbas Azzam al-Ahmad (2L), Hamas prime minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (2R), and deputy head of the Palestinian Parliament Ahmad Bahar (R) chat during a meeting with members of the PLO delegation and leaders of Palestinian factions at his home in Gaza City on April 22, 2014. The Palestinians have relaunched efforts to reconcile their rival leaderships in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as US-brokered peace talks with Israel teeter on the edge of collapse (UPI/Ahmad Shaath/Palestinian PM Media) | License Photo

JERUSALEM, April 23 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas, the two leading Palestinian factions, announced an agreement Wednesday in Jerusalem, forming a unity government within five weeks in preparation for elections at the end of the year.

Similar agreements were reached in the past but never enforced, but the new deal between the PLO, which runs the Palestinian authority in the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, comes after a thus-far unsuccessful attempt by the United States to arrange a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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Referring to a seven-year divide between the Palestinian factions, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, said at a news conference, “I announce to our people the news that the years of the split are over.”

Some observers remain skeptical of the reconciliation, noting neither side, in the past, has shown an interest in sharing power. Each has differing views on dealing with Israel, which responded to the announcement by canceling peace negotiations scheduled for Wednesday.

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