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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Palestinians to form unity government

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 19:13:47 GMT | PressTV

Reconciliation talks in Cairo lead to an agreement between rival Palestinian factions to establish a unity government by the end of March.

The factions agreed to form several committees that will pave the way for a unity government, an official with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jamil al-Majdalawi, told AFP on Thursday.

"The committees will end their work and a Palestinian unity government will be formed by the end of March," he said.

The revelation was confirmed by deputy leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Mohammed al-Hindi.

A Palestinian national dialogue opened in Cairo on Thursday under Egyptian auspices with hopes that a dozen Palestinian groups can agree on a new government and reunite the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Fatah and Hamas agreed to pursue confidence-building measures in order to resolve the fate of prisoners captured by both sides and to halt the exchange of accusations between the two.

Fatah and Hamas have long been rivals but their feud boiled over in 2007 when Hamas fighters took control of the Gaza Strip.

Egypt had initially asked for the Palestinian reconciliation dialogue in November. Hamas, however, pulled out of the talks at the fateful moment in protest at Fatah's continued detentions of Hamas members in the West Bank.

The Palestinian unity negotiations were relaunched by Egypt following the recent Israeli onslaught on the impoverished coastal sliver of Gaza.

Over 1,300 Gazans -- mostly women and children -- were killed during the military operations launched on December 27. Buildings along with the infrastructure were also devastated.

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