Palestinians are set to approve a coalition government, comprised of Fatah and Hamas members, hoping it will end the fighting between the factions.
Palestinians made the official announcement of the government through a satellite video ceremony in Gaza and Ramallah.
“We would have liked this assembly to take place in Jerusalem with all the parliament members participating, but the occupation policy that has abducted the parliament members and harmed Palestinian sovereignty did not allow that,” said Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian prime minister and Hamas member.
“We have suffered because we refused to give into pressure; we promised our struggling prisoners that we would continue to fight for their release.”
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave an address at the ceremony, stating that he hopes this would be a new chapter in the lives of the Palestinians, striving for an independent state, ending the struggle begun by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
“I call on you to walk the path of peace. We are ready for an immediate, unconditional, diplomatic peace process,” he said. “I’m telling you that the settlements, the separation fence, and violence are not leading to security and peace.”