Smaller Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation deal on Tuesday ahead of a formal ceremony this week to celebrate the accord designed to end a four-year rift between the biggest factions, Hamas and Fatah.
Egypt last week brokered the accord between the Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, and the Fatah which heads the Palestinian Authority and controls self-rule areas of the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians see this reconciliation as crucial for their drive to establish an independent state in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.
The accord calls for creating an interim unity government for the West Bank and Gaza Strip instead of the administrations led by Fatah and Hamas which currently run each territory.
Izzat al-Rishq, a Hamas spokesman, said all Palestinian factions and independent Palestinian politicians met in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss the agreement brokered by Egypt last week.
"All the factions signed today (Tuesday), and tomorrow we will celebrate the reconciliation under Egyptian patronage and in the presence of (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas and (Hamas leader) Khaled Meshaal," he told Reuters.
Another Palestinian official, who declined to be identified, said the smaller factions had inked the deal to show their backing for reconciliation but said the ceremonial signing would take place on Wednesday between the two biggest factions.
"Fatah and Hamas will sign with full names tomorrow in a signing ceremony celebrated by all," the official said.
Fatah leader Abbas was expected to speak at the ceremony.
Diplomats said foreign and Arab dignitaries, including European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, were invited to the ceremony.
An EU spokeswoman in Cairo said Ashton was invited but said the mission could not confirm that she would attend.
The interim government, which Palestinian officials said would consist of independent technocrats with no affiliation to either faction, will prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections within a year.
Egypt has said it will help oversee the implementation of the accord.
Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2011, 17:39