RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have reached agreement on steps to bridge their years-long divide, including the formation of a unity government by month's end, mediators and officials with the two groups said Thursday in Cairo.
The two Palestinian factions, which have been at odds since Hamas fighters drove Fatah's forces from the Gaza Strip in 2007, have been holding on-again, off-again reconciliation talks for more than a year. Their goal has been to politically reunite the West Bank, which is under Fatah control, and the Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas.
They have previously announced agreements, only to have the arrangements later fall apart.
According to a statement issued by Egyptian mediators, the two sides “have agreed on a timeline to start implementing all issues related to the reconciliation, starting today and ending at the most by Jan. 30.”
Fatah delegate Azzam Ahmad and Izzat Rishq of Hamas echoed the statement that a timeline had been established toward implementing the accord.