A deal between two rival political factions has been signed in the Gaza Strip at the home of Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's Gaza-based prime minister.

Hamas and Fatah have been divided since factional fighting exploded after Hamas' victory in Gaza's Palestinian legislative council elections in 2006.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas have agreed to begin negotiations to form a Palestinian unity government in the coming weeks, according to reports.

Palestinian president Abbas will announce elections in the next six months.

The reconciliation deal is based primarily on the agreements signed by factions in Cairo and Doha.