Hamas agrees to join PLO

Maan News Agency | Dec 22, 2011

CAIRO (Ma’an) — Hamas has agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization in a move intended to bolster Palestinian reconciliation, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

The report comes as President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo to put “final touches” on an agreement to reconcile the leaders’ rival factions.

Fatah leader in Gaza Yahiya Rabbah said the meeting was intended to agree on a final arrangement before the outcome was announced officially later Thursday.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Wednesday that Palestinian factions have reached agreement on several steps to be taken as part of ongoing reconciliation talks.

A committee composed of nine members has been formed to take charge of elections. The names will be reviewed by Abbas, who will issue a decree to form a new elections committee.

Factions also agreed that a unity government should be sworn in by the end of January 2012 and that all political prisoners in the West Bank and Gaza Strip should be released before the end of that month.

Palestinian factions have been locked in talks in the Egyptian capital over the last few days. Fatah and Hamas leaders had met on Sunday and other political parties joined the Egypt-brokered talks on Tuesday.

The reconciliation accord aims to unite the parties after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, a year after winning national elections.

Source and more at the Maan News Agency

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