+972 Blog"Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal on Wednesday. The political division, which also translated into a geographic division, began with clashes between the two in Gaza in 2007 and resulted in Hamas taking control of the Strip that year.
The deal is reported to include the formation of a unity government within five weeks, and new elections to be held sometime after that. In the last Palestinian elections, Hamas won, drawing the ire of Israel and parts of the international community.
Issues that the two parties will still need to work out include the fate of Hamas’s armed forces, which are separate from the Palestinian Authority security forces.
Hamas and Fatah have signed a number of reconciliation deals over the past several years that were never implemented."