Ramallah: Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are expected to join the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), with Palestinian optimism prevailing in the atmosphere regarding the Palestinian internal reconciliation and the Cairo unity talks, said a top Fatah official.

President Mahmoud Abbas issued on Thursday a presidential decree forming the Palestinian Central Committee for elections. Speaking to Gulf News, Jamal Muhaisen, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that the Palestinians have moved ahead with their reconciliation deal.

"We have gone most of the way through with agreement on all the articles of the unity deal," he said. He said that the Palestinian factions which are not under the PLO umbrella, namely Hamas and Islamic Jihad are expected to join the PLO. "The various Palestinian factions have so close political programs, but all of them have to agree upon the PLO program and abandon their own partial programs," he said.

"The factions interested in joining the PLO should accept and stick to the PLO charter and political program," he said.

"The Palestinian factions have unanimously agreed upon the popular resistance for the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation," he added. Muhaisen said that all the Palestinian factions will be welcome to take part in Palestinian parliamentary elections where parties have agreed that any faction which does not secure a total of two per cent of the vote will not have any representation at the Palestinian parliament.