PLO and Hamas agree to Palestinian reconciliation

Palestinians hold national flags as they celebrate after an announcement of a reconciliation agreement. Credit: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation have announced a unity pact, President Mahmoud Abbas has said.

The move has widened divisions in US-brokered peace-talks with Israel.

Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed (L) speaks with head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh. Credit: Reuters

The reconciliation comes after seven years of internal bickering within the Palestinian groups and raises the possibility of a unity government and national elections within six months.

However, Israel has criticised the deal, saying that President Abbas has chosen "Hamas over peace" and cancelled a session of peace talks in Jerusalem.

More: John Kerry joins Middle East peace talks

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Israel suspends peace talks with Palestinians

Israel has suspended peace talks with the Palestinians in response to the Hamas and PLO unity deal.