Palestinian factions Hamas and Fata agree to form a unity government

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah agreed on Wednesday to form a unity government and hold elections.

"This is the good news we tell our people: the era of division is over," Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said at a Palestinian news conference, according to Reuters.

The people expressed enormous support in the streets of Gaza. They raised flags to celebrate the historic move in an effort to unify the two factions.

In a time period of five weeks, the two sides hope to form an interim government. According Haniyeh, elections are expected to be held no sooner than six months after the government is formed.

Citizens are hoping for great change as they have seen these efforts crumble previously.

"I hope it will be real this time," Asma Radwan, a 33-year-old schoolteacher who took her two young sons to a celebration in Gaza, told the Associated Press. "I came to say 'thank you' to the leaders. But don't disappoint us like the past. Seven years of division is enough."

The U.S. and Israel have condemned the agreement, since the West considers Hamas a terrorist organization.



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