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.

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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.