Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Monday for a national unity government that would pave the way for "simultaneous" presidential and parliamentary elections.
"What is required, if we were to agree and I hope we shall agree, is a national unity government that undertakes ... lifting the (Israeli) blockade, opening the crossings, reconstruction and holding simultaneous presidential and legislative elections," Abbas told an economic Arab summit in Kuwait.
Earlier in the day, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Arab leaders to join together in backing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his efforts to reunite the war-ravaged Gaza Strip with the West Bank.
Speaking a day after the democratically elected Palestinian group Hamas and Israel announced separate ceasefires, Ban also said that Arab unity was crucial if the three-week Gaza conflict was not to be repeated in the future.
"The Palestinians themselves must face the challenge of reconciliation, and work to achieve a unified government under the leadership of President Abbas," Ban told an Arab League summit.
"I call on all Arab leaders to unite and support this endeavour. We cannot rebuild Gaza without Palestinian unity."