Militant groups in the Gaza Strip said on Sunday night that they had joined forces to step up attacks against Israel, possibly including suicide bombings. The statement was made as Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington for the first day of direct talks on Sunday and agreed a peace deal could be achieved within a year.
George Mitchell, the White House envoy who joined the negotiations, said the two leaders decided to begin framing an agreement on all major issues — such as borders, Jerusalem, Jewish settlements and security — to flesh out a comprehensive peace deal.
Meanwhile a spokesman for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, said 13 militant groups would work together to launch "more effective attacks" against Israel. Asked if this included suicide bombings, he said: "All options are open." Hamas also claimed responsibility for two separate attacks on West Bank.