Hamas to join PLO in unity bid

Hamas will join the Palestine Liberation Organization, a further step toward Palestinian unity.

The deal to admit Hamas was struck Thursday in Cairo during meetings of rival Palestinian factions working to unify the Palestinian leadership, the Associated Press reported.

Under the agreement, Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal has become a member, along with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, of a committee planning for PLO parliamentary elections. It will be the first PLO popular election in 50 years, the AP reported.

The deal is seen as an important step toward reconciliation between Abbas’ Fatah and Mashaal’s Hamas.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders condemned Abbas for meeting Wednesday with a Palestinian woman earlier this week in the second phase of the Shalit prisoner swap.

Abbas met with Amna Muna and ten other released prisoners in Turkey. Muna used the internet to lure an Israeli teen to a tryst in the West Bank, where he was murdered by other Palestinian terrorists.