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Fatah and Hamas sign reconciliation deal

Fatah, the Palestinian political organisation, has reached a comprehensive agreement with its rival Hamas on forming an interim government and fixing a date for a general election.

The deal was announced by Egyptian intelligence in a statement, Al-Jazeera reports.

"The consultations resulted in full understandings over all points of discussions, including setting up an interim agreement with specific tasks and to set a date for election," Egyptian intelligence said in a statement on Wednesday.

The deal, which took many officials by surprise, was thrashed out in Egypt and followed a series of secret meetings, Al-Jazeera said.

"The two sides signed initial letters on an agreement. All points of differences have been overcome," Taher Al-Nono, a Hamas government spokesman in Gaza, told Reuters.

Rageh said the deal was expected to be signed next week by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah member, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Damascus.