HAMAS and Fatah, the two rival Palestinian political factions, are in talks about forming a unity government with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal claiming that long-stalled elections in the occupied territories are also being planned.
"We are forging ahead with the reconciliation. We are consulting about forming a government of national accord. Preparations for presidential, parliamentary and executive council elections are under way. We are reinvigorating the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) and organising its meetings until a new national council and executive committee are elected," he told the BBC.
The Palestinian political picture has been fragmented since 2006 when Hamas won control of the Gaza Strip in elections. Violent fighting followed between the two parties, leaving Hamas in power in Gaza and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian National Authority, in control of the West Bank.
In recent years, efforts to reconcile the two sides have taken place. But over the last few months, co-operation has increased substantially. (© Independent News Service)