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Factions review unity deal in Gaza

April 30, 2011 7:03 A.M. (Updated: May 2, 2011 9:59 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah and Hamas met with factions on Saturday in Gaza to discuss the reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo that is expected reunite the Palestinian territories under a single government.

Islamic Jihad invited the parties to its Gaza City offices to review the details of the surprise agreement. It was the first meeting between Hamas and Fatah since the deal was announced in Cairo on Wednesday.

After years of tensions, the rival parties agreed to form a transitional unity government ahead of elections to take place within one year.

The factions met in Gaza ahead of their departure to Cairo to sign the deal.

Hamas and Fatah outlined the details of the agreement, and factions affirmed their support for national unity.

Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said the meeting was important to ensure the success of the deal, set to be signed by President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mash'al in Cairo on Thursday.

Following the final ratification, parties would return and end all aspects of the division, Radwan said, adding that national unity was "the honest will" of Hamas and Fatah, and all Palestinian factions.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Jamil Al-Majdawali said his party supported the agreement and praised Egypt's role in mediating the deal.

Al-Majdawali said he believed Hamas and Fatah were serious about the agreement and that Gaza and the West Bank would be opened to all Palestinians.
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