Israel viewed the Palestinian accord warily, saying it must abide by previous global agreements and terms set out by the quartet of Middle East peace mediators -including the recognition of Israel and the disarming of Hamas. The group was established in Madrid in 2002, recalling the Madrid Conference of 1991, as a result of the escalating conflict in the Middle East.
According to the Egyptian-brokered agreement, the two parties agreed on the full functioning of the consensus government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and on resolving all the problems caused by the internal division.
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza on Thursday in celebration of the unity pact, with loudspeakers on open cars blasting national songs, youths dancing and hugging and many waving Palestine and Egyptian flags.
The talks "began in the headquarters of the Egyptian intelligence to examine the files to enable a Palestinian national unity government to work in the Gaza Strip", he added.
After signing the agreement, Egypt intends to continue to call for a wider dialogue among all Palestinian powers and factions in Cairo to discuss the formation of a unity government and to prepare for the Palestinian general elections.
Azzam al-Ahmad, who heads the Fatah delegation, told AFP earlier that the main point of discussion would be "empowering the government in Gaza".
The Al Hayat report that Hamas will hand the Palestinian Authority responsibility for everything above the ground in Gaza is significant because Hamas is trying to preserve its terrorist infrastructure, particularly the massive tunnel system that has been built underground in Gaza, as well as weapons caches and workshops, especially those that produce rockets in preparation for a future conflict with Israel.