The two major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, the party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have signed a historic accord to form a unity government. Fatah governs the West Bank, while Hamas, an Islamic group, controls the Gaza Strip. The agreement ends a four-year split. Back in 2007 Hamas pushed out forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas from Gaza, one year after winning government elections.
Robert Malley, director of the Middle East program at the International Crisis Group is skeptical of the agreement. "I can't imagine a peace agreement between two historic foes, when one of them is as deeply divided as the Palestinians were," he says, "but hopefully they can heal that."