Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently presented a national reconciliation plan for rival groups Fatah and Hamas. At the crux of the plan is an initiative to deploy an Egyptian security delegation to the Gaza Strip; it will act as an arbitrator between the opposing sides and supervise the disarmament of Palestinian groups and unification of security organizations.

A source privy to the details of the proposal said Fayyad believes the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip is the right time to push for such a move.

The same source added that Fayyad considers the cease-fire fragile; therefore the speedy adoption of a reconciliation plan is imperative.

Fayyad's plan comprises three elements: an internal Palestinian security agreement, a transition government and a date for new parliamentary and presidential elections.

By signing an internal Palestinian security agreement, an important condition that was missing in the Mecca Accords (signed between Fatah and Hamas several weeks prior to Hamas' takeover of the Strip last June) will be fulfilled. Under this deal, the Palestinian Authority will ask Egypt to dispatch a security delegation to the Strip, and possibly even a military force to oversee the implementation of the security.

This agreement will also include a process for disarming Palestinian groups. Initially there will be no attempt to require Hamas or the other factions to surrender their arms, but they will have to promise not to make use of them.

Secondly, a transition government will be set up, which will be responsible for both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and which will comprise officials unaffiliated with any party and acceptable to both Fatah and Hamas.

Third, Hamas and Fatah will agree on a date for presidential and parliamentary elections, in order to resolve the current political deadlock.

Presidential elections are currently scheduled to take place in January, and parliamentary elections are due in two years.

Palestinian sources said that no real reconciliation talks will take place in the near future, despite the fact that parts of the proposed agreement are acceptable to both sides.

The same sources said that Fayyad suffers from tensions in his relationship with Fatah and Hamas' distrust; Hamas considers him a Fatah stooge.