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Feuding Palestinian Factions Reach Unity Pact

Hamas and Fatah, two factions that have been at odds for seven years, say they will form a new unity government.
Posted at 7:19 PM, Apr 23, 2014

Two rival Palestinian factions that have been in conflict for seven years say they've buried the hatchet and will form a new unity government within the next five weeks.

The dominant Fatah group and the Islamist Hamas say they've come to an agreement that should allow the Palestinian people to negotiate for peace with one voice. (Via BBC)

The two factions have been estranged since 2006, when Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by the U.S., E.U. and Israel, won legislative elections.

Fatah refused to give up power to Hamas, and tensions broke out into a civil war by the end of that year. (Via CNN)

Since then, the Palestinian territories have been split, with Hamas governing the Gaza Strip and Fatah in charge of the West Bank. (Via Wikimedia Commons /NordNordWest)

The announcement the two had agreed to a pact came as a surprise and was quickly condemned by the U.S. State Department and by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he's moving into peace with Hamas. And he has to choose: does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other." (Via The Jerusalem Post)

But most media outlets reporting on the deal are skeptical, saying Hamas and Fatah have made similar announcements twice before, neither of which actually lasted.

One West Bank resident told Time, "They continue to hold their meetings, bring the Palestinian peoples' hopes up and then it all ends up with them disagreeing over everything."

Following the news, Israel canceled Wednesday's meeting between peace negotiators and carried out a strike in Gaza, which was followed by a rocket attack into Israel.