Hamas, Fatah Strike Deal on Palestinian Government
But Israel may not deal with Hamas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2011 2:38 PM CDT
In this 2007 file photo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas raise their arms.   (Hatem Moussa)

(Newser) – Palestinians have reached initial agreement on reuniting their rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza, a step that would remove a main obstacle in the way of peace efforts with Israel. Fatah and Hamas officials said the plan, brokered by Egypt, calls for the formation of a single caretaker government in the coming days. The government would administer day-to-day business until new presidential and legislative elections are held in exactly one year.

The two groups' internal rift had prevented the Palestinians from speaking in one voice. That, in turn, has made it next to impossible to move ahead with peace efforts with Israel. Talks have been stymied for months over a dispute about Israeli construction in West Bank settlements, but the unity issue has lurked prominently in the background. Next problem: Israel immediately rejected the prospect of a Palestinian government including Hamas, and the US expressed similar concerns.