CAIRO (AFP) – Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo on Tuesday to end the divide between the West Bank and Gaza and hold elections in a year in an agreement Israel called a blow to peace.
Representatives of 13 factions, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh Party and its rival Hamas, as well as independent political figures, inked the deal following talks with Egyptian officials.
“All the Palestinian factions signed the document at a meeting with Egyptian intelligence officials,” Bilal Qassem, politburo member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), told AFP.
He said all factions were given the opportunity to discuss the document and air any reservations.
“We signed the deal despite several reservations. But we insisted on working for the higher national interest,” said Walid Awad, a politburo member of the leftist Palestine People’s Party.
“We have discussed all the reservations. Everyone has agreed to take these points into consideration,” he told Egyptian state television without elaborating.