The Hamas terrorist organization has agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to the Associated Press.
The decision came during two days after a meeting in Cairo between Palestinian Authority Chairman and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah.
The gathering, which constitutes a gathering of the three largest terrorist factions in the Arab world today, began with an agreement on forming a central elections comission for upcoming PA elections.
Up to this point, Hamas has existed outside the PLO.
Abbas, who heads the PA and the Fatah faction, also serves as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, once led by chief terrorist Yasser Arafat.
Fatah is the umbrella faction for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organization, the Tanzim terrorist group headed by Marwan Barghouti, the Shuhada al-Aqsa, the Gaza-based Ansar al-Mujahidin (formerly Kataeb al-Mujahidin) headed by Abu Bilal, and others.
The word "Mujahidin" means "holy warriors" -- implying "jihad" or holy war -- a term used by Islamists. Although the Fatah faction is primarily seen as a more secularist faction, the names of its terrorist groups belie the truth of its ideals.
The Ansar al-Mujahidin is suspected to have to have links with three Salafi groups that were involved in the murder in Gaza of an Italian member of the International Solidarity Movement, the al-Tawhid, Wal-Jihad and Jaish al-Islam. All three, plus the Army of Islam, are associated with the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
The Hamas terrorist organization currently rules Gaza, having seized control of the region from Fatah in a militia war with the faction in 2007.
Hamas is allied with numerous other terrorist groups in the region, among them the Islamic Jihad organization -- which operates both in Gaza and in the Fatah-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria -- and with the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization (PRC).
Hamas, the PRC and the Army of Islam joined together to carry out the 2006 cross-border raid that resulted in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. It took five years and the release of 1,027 PA Arab terrorist prisoners, including hundreds of murderers, in order to secure Shalit's safe return.