Rival Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas named President Mahmoud Abbas the head of an interim unity government during a televised signing ceremony Monday.
The deal was signed in Doha, Qatar, by Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who said last month he plans to step down from his post.
"The Palestinian reconciliation is no longer a Palestinian interest but also an Arab interest," Abbas said.
"Both parties are serious in moving forward to fold the page of strife between both parties and to strengthen the Palestinian national unity government," according to Meshaal.
Independent Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti said the agreement represents progress.
"What we see is a slow movement, and we hope that this meeting will give a push to reconciliation to go faster," he said. "I hope that the most important thing that this agreement will lead to is actual activation of real democratic system and that all obstacles that are still in the way of election will be removed."
The deal comes amid increased pressure from various Arab countries and Turkey for Hamas to distance itself from the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.FULL STORY