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Hamas, Fatah strike deal to form unity government

Jan 18, 2017, 6:03 AM EST
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
(Source: Olivier Pacteau/flickr)

Following a three-day negotiation in Moscow, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and its rival organization Hamas struck a deal on Tuesday to form a unity government. According to the agreement, the two factions will set up a new National Council, which will conduct elections in Palestine.

Fatah and Hamas have been bitter rivals since 2007, when the latter seized Gaza in a civil unrest after sweeping the legislative elections a year earlier, notes AMN News.

Khaled Elgindy, a senior Brookings Institute fellow and former adviser on peace negotiations, described the agreement as a result of leadership transition in the U.S., notes Al Jazeera. Elgindy said that President Mahmoud Abbas aims to strengthen his domestic position in the face of a very “hostile” administration coming into Washington.