RAMALLAH, May 15 (JMCC) - Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fateh have agreed to work to implement a reconciliation agreement and resolve outstanding differences over power-sharing in three months, reports the
The agreement came during a meeting late Tuesday between Fatah's official in charge of reconciliation affairs, Azzam al-Ahmed, and his Hamas counterpart Mussa Abu Marzuq, held at Egyptian security services headquarters in Cairo.
We must take immediate steps to agree on the Palestinian National Council's (PLO parliament) electoral law and set a date for elections, Ahmed told the official Voice of Palestine radio.
We have said that all these measures must be carried out within three months, he added.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zohri told AFP the two groups had decided to finalize all reconciliation issues in three months, including that of the national unity government... and legislative and presidential elections.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas of Fatah announced the start of talks on forming a unity government in April, after his prime minister Salam Fayyad, who is acting as cabinet caretaker, resigned.
Differences between Hamas and Fateh broke out into clashes in 2007 after Hamas won general elections one year prior. Since then, Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip and Fateh has controlled the areas of the West Bank under Palestinian control.
In 2011, the factions agreed to hold elections and share power in one year's time, but the agreement broke down over leadership roles and actual implementation.
Hamas has seen its fortunes rise with the increased dominance of Islamist movements in nearby Arab countries, and Fateh has been loathe to shirk the friendship of the United States, which does not want to see Hamas in power without concessions on its political positions.