Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas on Wednesday proclaimed a landmark, Egyptian-mediated reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift.
The Palestinian president seized the occasion to deliver a scathing criticism of Israel, saying he would not succumb to its blackmail over the future of Mideast peacemaking.
"We forever turn the black page of division," the Western-backed Mahmoud Abbas said at the declaration ceremony in the Egyptian capital Cairo, promising to "soon" visit Hamas-held Gaza Strip.
The pact, long in the making, provides for the creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government ahead of national elections next year but leaves key issues unresolved, such as who will control the Palestinian security forces, and makes no mention of relations with Israel.
Israel had denounced the pact in advance of the Cairo ceremony because of the militant Hamas' long history of deadly attacks against Israeli targets.
It also equated the deal with a renunciation of peacemaking.