Palestinian factions on Tuesday inked the Egyptian capital a reconciliation pact that will pave the way for elections within a year, AFP said. Representatives of 13 factions, including Fatah and Hamas, as well as independent political figures signed the agreement following talks with Egyptian officials.
"We signed the deal despite several reservations. But we insisted on working for the higher national interest," said Walid al-Awad, a politburo member of the leftist Palestine People's Party.
"Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will be celebrating this agreement... We must now work to implement what was agreed in the deal," he said.
The accord also calls for the creation of an electoral tribunal and for the release of a number prisoners held by the rival movements in jails in the West Bank and Gaza.
On his part, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Amr Moussa stressed the "importance of the formal signing of the document of the Palestinian reconciliation," which he described as a "major event and an important step on the road for the establishment an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem."