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Fatah, Hamas leaders agree to form unity government

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Doha, Feb 6, IRNA -- Chairman of Fatah movement Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political chief Khaled Mashal in Doha on Monday agreed to form Palestine unity government led by Abbas and prepare grounds for general elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar’s emir, hosted and brokered the agreement.

IRNA reporter in Doha said that the proposed Palestine unity government will be based in the West Bank.

The leadership deal lifted a major obstacle that had prevented the two movements from implementing a reconciliation agreement sponsored by Egypt in May.

At that time, the two groups said they would move toward forming a government of independent technocrats to prepare for elections, but were unable to agree on a candidate for prime minister.

Mashal said that the agreement provided greater unity “in order to devote our efforts to resisting Israeli occupation.'

Under its terms, joint committees formed after last May’s agreement are to continue talks on issues including political prisoners held in the West Bank and Gaza.

The rivalry between Hamas and Fatah movements worsened after Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 and, a year later, took full control of Gaza after a brief factional infighting. Hamas drove the Fatah forces loyal to Abbas out of Gaza.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30803141

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