The Palestinian unity government resigned on Wednesday in a deepening rift between the authorities in the West Bank and the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip.
Here is a timeline of relations since the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007, ousting the secular Fatah, the main component of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
– June 15: Hamas completes its seizure of Gaza after routing Fatah forces loyal to Mahmud Abbas, who fires the Hamas-dominated unity government led by Ismail Haniya.
– April 27: Fatah and Hamas say they have reached an “understanding” to create an interim government of independents to prepare for presidential and legislative elections within a year. Most clauses in the accord are unapplied with deadlines regularly put back.
– January 7: Fatah and Hamas strike an accord on exchanging prisoners.
– April 23: The PLO and Hamas agree to form a unity government to end seven years of divided administration.
– April 24: Israel says it is halting peace talks with the Palestinians following their unity deal with Hamas, which it brands a “terrorist” group.
– June 2: A unity government of 17 ministers, all of them political independents, is sworn in.
– July-August: Israel launches a 50-day air and land offensive against Gaza in response to rocket fire. The campaign kills about 2,200 Palestinians and 73 on the Israeli side. Hamas and Fatah show a united response.
– October 9: The unity government holds its first ever meeting in Gaza. Abbas had accused Hamas of running a “parallel” administration in the enclave.
– November 7: Fatah says it holds Hamas responsible for a wave of bombings targeting the homes of Fatah leaders in Gaza.
– April 20: Ministers and officials of the consensus government cut short a visit to Gaza a day after arriving for talks on the salaries of thousands of public employees.
– June 16: Sources in Hamas say it has been holding indirect contacts with Israel about ideas for cementing a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip. Israeli sources confirm the contacts.
– June 17: The Palestinian unity government resigns in a deepening rift with Gaza.