Russia welcomed a pledge of unity between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas against Israel's West Bank annexation plans. In a rare joint press conference on Thursday, the rival factions pledged a united campaign against Israel's prospective plans to annex territory in the occupied West Bank. "We noted with satisfaction the joint press conference held yesterday by representatives of Fatah and Hamas during which a decision was announced to jointly defend the interests of the Palestinian government based on the platform of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation," said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday. Fatah, which controls the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, and Islamist group Hamas that runs the Gaza Strip have been plagued by divisions for more than a decade. The joint press conference was spurred by their common opposition to US President Donald Trump's Middle East plan. The plan paves the way for Israel to annex roughly 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, including Jewish settlements in the territory considered illegal under international law.