Fatah, Hamas agree on unity government led by Abbas


The agreement, signed Monday in Qatar, stipulates that the government will be headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the Fatah Party, which controls the West Bank.

The Islamist Hamas has run Gaza since it took it over in 2007 after a war with its Fatah rivals; after Hamas took power in Gaza Israel imposed a blockade on the coastal strip.

The agreement comes nearly a year after Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement in Cairo to create an interim government and hold elections within a year.

“We are serious, both Fatah and Hamas, in healing the wounds and ending the chapter of division and reinforcing and accomplishing reconciliation,” Hamas head Khaled Meshaal said in an address carried live on Al Jazeera.

Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. It has refused to recognize Israel.