The Ma’an news agency is reporting that an ‘understanding’ has been reached between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian National Authority.
According to the report, agreement has been reached on the formation of a caretaker government and an election timetable.
There are currently two PMs in the area covered by the Palestinian Authority, one Fatah PM in the West Bank and one Hamas PM in the Gaza Strip. The agreement is supposed to lead to the resignation of both PMs and the appointment of a single replacement. In addition, presidential and legislative elections would be held a year after the formation of the interim government.
In February, the Fatah PM, Salam Fayyad, tendered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas, who called for elections in September. In retrospect, this sounds like part of a strategy to try to reach an agreement with Hamas.
There is, of course, no guarantee that the agreement will be ratified or implemented successfully. However, it seems that one of the consequences of the fall of the Mubarak regime in Egypt is that there is both a renewed incentive for both parties in the Palestinian Authority to reach an agreement and perhaps fewer constraints on the nature of such an agreement than was previously the case.