Hamas resistance movement agreed to dissolve the administration that runs Gaza, it said Sunday, a major step toward handing control of the enclave to a Palestinian unity government.
The movement said it had taken "a courageous, serious and patriotic decision to dissolve the administrative committee" that runs the territory of 2 million people, and hand power to some form of unity government.
Hamas called on the Palestinian Authority government based in the occupied West Bank "to come to Gaza to exercise its functions and carry out its duties immediately."
Reunification a decade after Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement battled for control of Gaza may hinge on whether issues related to power-sharing - which stymied reconciliation bids in the past - can be resolved.
Abbas welcomed Hamas' move - a result of talks mediated by Egypt - and said he would convene the Palestinian leadership for discussions upon his return from New York where he was attending the UN General Assembly.
The development would "enable the formation of a national reconciliation government to work in the Gaza Strip and hold ... elections," he said in a statement on official news agency WAFA.
Earlier, a Palestinian government spokesman said Cairo's mediation had presented a "historic opportunity" that could help Palestine toward full statehood.
Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation administration but could not agree on the details. A unity government formed after Hamas won the last Palestinian general election, in 2006, was short-lived.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team