Hamas and Fatah have signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo, agreeing to an interim government and setting a date for elections in a year's time. The deal was brokered by Egypt's intelligence service.
In a statement carried by the Egyptian state news agency MENA, the intelligence service said the deal was signed by a Hamas delegation led by Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas' politburo, and Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad.
"The consultations resulted in full understandings on all points of discussions, including setting up an interim agreement with specific tasks and to set a date for election," the statement said.
Egypt is going to invite all 'Palestinian' factions to sign a national reconciliation agreement in Cairo in the next few days, and spokesmen for both Hamas and Fatah confirmed that "all differences" have been worked out.
The discussions were held with the Hamas delegation was meeting with officials in Cairo and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sitting down with an Egyptian diplomat in Ramallah.
In the meeting with Egyptian Ambassador to the PA Yasser Othman, Abbas said, "Egypt is the backbone of our people's aspirations toward having an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," according to the Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA.
Hamas, of course, is a genocidal organization that does not recognize Israel and is officially designated as a terrorist organization under US law. If Hamas becomes part of the 'Palestinian' government, the US is required by laws to break off all ties with it. This is definitely a curve ball for the Obama Administration. However I have no doubt President Obama is going to try to keep business as usual going unless he's challenged by Congress.
Even more interesting is how the Israelis are going to look at this.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a recorded video message in response saying that the "Palestinian Authority needs to choose between peace with the people of Israel and peace with Hamas. You cannot have peace with both, because Hamas aspires to destroy the State of Israel, and it says so openly."
"Hamas fires rockets at our cities and anti-tank missiles at our children. I think the mere idea of reconciliation demonstrates the Palestinian Authority's weakness, and brings up the question of whether Hamas will take over Judea and Samaria as it did Gaza."
Netanyahu added: "I hope the PA makes the right choice – to choose peace with Israel. The choice is hers."
Abbas has obviously made his choice and obviously feels he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He was obviously expecting Obama to deliver the Jews with no effort on his part. When Obama wasn't able to do so, he lashed out and is now expecting the UN to pick up the slack.
This is, to all intents and purposes a declaration of war, with Fatah allying itself with Israel's enemies.. Will the Israelis declare the agreements with the Palestinian Authority null and void and start treating Fatah as the hostile entity it is?