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Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority sign a political deal to take over the West Bank

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority sign a political deal to take over the West Bank

Leading Palestinian factions sign reconciliation deal, aiming to pave way to elections

Palestinian factions have signed a reconciliation deal, aiming to pave the way for fresh elections.

The deal signed between Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) deals a death blow to the status quo in the West Bank.

The deal will pave the way for a free, fair and transparent new election in November 2018.

The agreement was reportedly brokered by Egyptian officials.

The deal had been expected last week.

“We reached a political agreement with the Egyptian government so that the Palestinian factions will be able to participate in elections and form their own government,” Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Palestinian factions have been preparing for a possible new election since the new Trump administration took office last year.

But any new deal will require approval from Hamas, a condition the Islamist group is loath to grant. A senior Hamas member told the Associated Press the group is discussing what to do once the deal is signed, but could not say when it is possible.

The deal would pave the way for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take over the government of the West Bank.

Hamas’s political wing, the Executive Committee, has repeatedly indicated it is interested in taking over the PA.

Under the agreement, the factions will hold parliamentary elections in the West Bank in September. Afterward, the factions can prepare for elections in the Gaza Strip in November.

The Hamas spokesman told Wafa that the party will not release a statement on the deal until it has signed it.

In an earlier statement, Hamas said it was ready for a new elections as long as the Palestinians themselves decided which candidates to field and the outcome is transparent.

The PA has said it wants a unity government, with Hamas as the largest faction. Hamas’s senior officials have repeatedly said that they do not plan to hand over power to the PA.

There was no immediate statement from the PA. Officials in the faction say they hope the new agreement will lead to a two-stage national election.

The first stage would include parliamentary elections in September, with the second stage to be held after the presidential elections in 2018 when a new president would be selected.

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