Hamas, the Palestinian group that has run Gaza since 2007, has agreed to talks with the rival Fatah movement, which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Hamas has also said it would dissolve the administrative committee that controls Gaza.

The organisation has said it is ready for talks on forming a unity government and holding a general election.

The announcement comes after talks in Cairo last week with Egyptian officials in which Hamas chief Ismail Haniya agreed to take such steps, a Hamas official said.

It was unclear however whether the steps would result in further concrete action toward ending the deep division with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' Fatah, based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In a statement, Hamas spoke of the "dissolution" of what is known as the administrative committee, which was seen as a rival government to Mr Abbas' administration.

Hamas formed the committee in March, and since then Mr Abbas has sought to put further pressure on the Islamist movement, reducing electricity payments for the Gaza Strip among other measures.

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, having seized it in a near civil war from Fatah following a dispute over parliamentary elections won by the Islamist movement.

The Gaza Strip has faced deteriorating humanitarian conditions, with a severe electricity crisis and a lack of clean water, among other issues.

It has been under an Israeli blockade for around a decade, while its border with Egypt has also remained largely closed in recent years.

The coastal enclave of some two million people also has one of the world's highest unemployment rates.

Facing those conditions, Hamas has turned to Egypt for assistance, particularly involving fuel to produce power.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, including Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008.

UN officials have called for the blockade to be lifted, but Israel says it is necessary to stop Hamas from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.

Last month, the Gaza head of Hamas, Yahya al-Sinwar, said the movement had increased its military capabilities thanks to newly improved relations with Iran, Israel's arch-enemy.