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Thu 5 May 2011 01:00 PM

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Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony

Secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas group reconcile, a move they see as crucial to their drive for an independent Palestinian state

Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
In this handout image provided by the Palestinian Press Office (PPO), exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal (R) meets president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (2L) on May 4, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. The rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo after reaching common ground against Israeli occupation and peace efforts. (Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
In this handout image provided by the Palestinian Press Office (PPO), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) speaks to members of Fatah and Hamas on May 4, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.The rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo after reaching common ground against Israeli occupation and peace efforts. Mashaal said they had a 'common goal; a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital'. (Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
Palestinians celebrate during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 04, 2011 as Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip gather to welcome a reconciliation deal signed by rival movements Hamas and Fatah in Cairo (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
A Palestinian man wrapped with the Fatah party flag shakes hands with a Hamas security man as they celebrate the political reconciliation agreement during a rally in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on May 4, 2011 as Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip gather to welcome a reconciliation deal signed by rival movements Hamas and Fatah in Cairo (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
Palestinians hold pictures depicting Osama bin Laden, as they march to celebrate the signing of a reconciliation deal between bitter rivals Hamas and Fatah, on May 4, 2011 in Gaza City. As Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal sat down in Cairo to ratify the deal with president Mahmud Abbas, who heads the Fatah faction, more than 1,000 people turned out in Gaza City to show their support, with parallel demonstrations in the West Bank. (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks during a press conference in Muscat on May 04, 2011, where he welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation between leader Mahmud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal ending years of bitter rivalry (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
A Hamas policeman watches (L) as Gaza's resident Yasser Muheisen wears a suit bearing the symbols of all the Palestinian factions during a demonstration at the Unknown Soldier square in Gaza City where for the first time since 2007 the yellow Fatah flag is allowed to be displayed on May 4, 2011 as Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip gather to celebrate and welcome a reconciliation deal signed by rival movements Hamas and Fatah in Cairo (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal delivers a speech in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 4, 2011 at a Cairo reconciliation ceremony with the rival Fatah party that ended a nearly four-year feud (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abass (C) and Egyptian Intelligence Chief General Murad Muafi (R) attend a reconciliation ceremony between rival administrations Fatah and Hamas on May 4, 2011 that ends a nearly four-year feud (AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians end four-year rift at Cairo ceremony
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas delivers a speech in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 4, 2011 at a reconciliation ceremony with the rival Hamas movement that ended a nearly four-year feud. (AFP/Getty Images)