The two main factions in Palestine, Hamas and Fatah, came to an agreement on elections and the formation of a new government this past Sunday. This deal is a follow-up to a broader unity agreement that was struck about a year ago. Azam al-Ahmad of Fatah and Musa Abu Marzouq of Hamas met in Cairo to reach this deal. The recent deal for the elections was similar to the deal made last year except, according to Jodi Rudoren of The New York Times:
“The new agreement essentially takes steps to carry out the previous one, particularly the registering of new voters in Gaza and the formation of an interim government. Both are to begin May 27, and Egypt “will follow each party’s commitment to the deal,” according to Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman.”
The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, did not comment on the agreement, but did say earlier this month that it would be impossible to have “reconciliation” without the use of elections.
There are some twists to the deal. Mr. Abbas also said that “until the elections, the interim government he had promised to set up would be ‘transitional, technocratic and independent,’ and would not include representatives of Hamas”. Everybody in the government should recognize Israel, denounce terrorism”.
According to the Le Nouvel Observateur, it will be interesting to see the new government’s position on Israel, the United States, and the nuclear issue in Iran. The elections and the creation of a new government are set to start on May 27, 2012.