Hamas and Fatah agree elections

The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to hold elections next May, a senior official said, in what would be a major step toward ending a four-year rift.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah negotiator, said the sides agreed on the election plan in secret talks and are expected to formally approve it later this month.

The plan calls for the establishment of a caretaker government to prepare for the vote – most likely without current prime minister Salam Fayyad, although this would be a huge gamble.