May 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Delegations from Palestinian rivals will visit Cairo Saturday to start discussions on forming a unity government, a Hamas official said Wednesday.

The delegations will represent Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party, said Salah Al-Bardawil, a Hamas official in Gaza.

Last week, the two movements signed a reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt. The pact is sought to end political split between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank, where Fatah holds sway.

Al-Bardawil said that the delegates will talk about the technocratic government that they agreed to form to prepare for holding elections in a year.

He also revealed that Arab committees comprising Egypt and Qatar were formed to follow up the implementation of the reconciliation agreement.

In 2007, Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over Gaza, setting up its own government and security services. The Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority remained confined to the West Bank.

According to Al-Bardawil, security services in the West Bank and Gaza will remain unchanged until after elections.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017