Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and the Islamist Hamas movement have reached an historic accord for the creation of a new "confederation" with two governments to rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, sources have told Adnkronos International (AKI).

Top-level Palestinian sources told AKI that the two groups are waiting for the right moment to make an official announcement about the agreement.

Well-informed sources based in Damascus said the "confederation is based on two governments : one in the West Bank led by Fatah and the Palestinian National Authority and the other in the Gaza Strip led by Hamas".

"It is a government for each of the two principal factions of the Palestinian conflict," the source said.

Under the accord, a co-ordinating commission would supervise the two executives in a type of "central government", sources said.

The commission would not have particularly broad or binding responsibilities, it will co-ordinate the two governments so that they act like a single body, sources said.

"The two governments will restrict themselves to managing reconstruction and election preparations, without a clear political function," one source said.

However, the accord is expected to attract strong opposition from other Palestinian groups including the Democratic Front and the Popular Front since the plan excludes their participation, sources said.

A Damascus official from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine has already said that his organisation is "totally opposed to this plan since it reinforces and perpetuates the divisions between the Palestinians, hampers the possibility of creating an independent Palestinian state and confirms the division of power between the two principal factions."

"This option is nothing more than a way of escaping the problems and of finding a solution."

Fatah and Hamas have been divided by a serious rift since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force in mid-2007 after it won a surprise victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections the previous year.

After the elections Hamas faced widespread political opposition and an economic boycott from western powers including the European Union due to its refusal to comply with three conditions: recognition of Israel, rejection of violence and respect for previous accords between Israel and the Palestinians.

Source: adnkronos.International