Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed on the make-up of a national unity government on Tuesday in the most significant step yet toward healing their seven-year rift.
The two groups said they had decided on a list of independent, technocrat ministers who will run the government pending elections in at least six months - moves they hope will revive institutions paralysed since the parties fought a brief civil war in 2007.
Officials from the two sides told a news conference in the Gaza Strip that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will make a formal announcement of the new government later this week after choosing a religious affairs minister.
"The viewpoints of the Hamas and Fatah movements will be presented to President (Abbas) to give his final decision on the government line-up," Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said. The deal cements an initial unity pledge the two parties announced on April 23, just as U.S.-backed peace talks Abbas was holding with Israel were collapsing.
As for the international reactions about the formation of the Palestinian national unity government, the European Union announced that it would support and deal with it; if Mahmoud Abbas stays as a head the government, and in a mitigation of its previous position, United States has expressed its willingness to deal with the new Palestinian government.