The two main Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have agreed to form a unified interim government led by President Mahmoud Abbas after just one day of dialogue in Qatar.
Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, witnessed the signing of a “Doha Declaration” this morning between Abbas, who leads Fatah, and the political chief of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.
Under the declaration, an interim Palestinian government comprised of ”independents and technocrats” will pave the way for elections in the West Bank and Gaza, AFP news agency reports. Abbas would replace Salam Fayyad as the prime minister in the new government.
No new date was announced for elections, but under a unity deal the two signed last year, both presidential and parliamentary elections would be held in May.
The Palestinian territories have been governed separately for nearly five years: The West Bank and East Jerusalem by the Palestinian Authority under Fatah leadership, and the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
Previous efforts to form a unified interim government had stalled over who would lead it. Al Jazeera reports that Qatar’s emir proposed Abbas for the position in negotiations yesterday at the Emiri Diwan.
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala