On April 23, Fatah and Hamas signed the Palestinian National Reconciliation Agreement, which implements two previous agreements signed in Doha (February 2012) and Cairo (May 2011).

The two previous agreements staged that both Fatah and Hamas agree to identify the names of the members of the Central Election Commission in agreement with the Palestinian factions. This list will then be submitted to the Palestinian President who will issue a decree of the reformation of the committee. They also agree on the nomination of no more than twelve judges to be members of the Electoral Court. This list will then be submitted to the Palestinian President in order to take the necessary legal actions to form the Electoral Court in agreement with the Palestinian factions. According to the agreement, the Legislative, Presidential, and the Palestinian National Council elections will be conducted at the same time exactly one year after the signing of the Palestinian National Reconciliation Agreement. Moreover, the political parties of both Fatah and Hamas agree that the tasks and decisions of the provisional interim leadership cannot be hindered or obstructed, but in a manner that is not conflicting with the authorities of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. A Higher Security Committee will be formed by a decree of the Palestinian President and will consist of professional officers in consensus, therefore the appointment of the Prime Minister and Ministers should also be done in consensus.

However, the new Palestinian a National Reconciliation Agreement calls for an interim government to be formed in five weeks consisting of political independents (aligned with neither Hamas not Fatah), followed by executive and legislative elections in six months.

PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas considers the unification of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as one of his legacy issues.

Israel responded to the reconciliation agreement by suspending negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), and US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, called for a halt to US aid to the PA. Abbas told Kerry on April 25 that “any government that is formed will be his government and represent his policies,” implying it will recognize Israel and renounce violence, according to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who added that Kerry sees recent developments as “a moment of transition and part of the process.”

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Scores of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza City on Wednesday to celebrate a deal between rival factions Hamas and Fatah ending years of division.

While the White House was disappointed, the Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Atiyahon congratulated Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on a deal to end Palestinian divisions.

Bibliography:

Al Monitor: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/04/palestine-hamas-fatah-mahmoud-abbas.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=bb16b29abd-Week_in_Review_28_4_20144_27_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-bb16b29abd-102320929
Peace Maker UN: http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/OPt_AgreementFatahHamas2011.pdf
World Bulletin: http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/134519/hamas-fatah-announce-reconciliation-agreement-israel-cancels-meeting-updated

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