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Abbas swears in Palestinian unity government shunned by Israel

Reuters , Monday 2 Jun 2014
Abbas
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (4th L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (3rd L) pose for a group photo with Palestinian ministers during a swearing-in ceremony of the unity government, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
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President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a Palestinian unity government on Monday under a reconciliation deal with Hamas Islamists that led Israel to freeze U.S.-brokered peace talks with the Western-backed leader.

Abbas, who heads the mainstream Fatah movement, has said the 17-member cabinet would be comprised of unaffiliated ministers and that it would strive to pursue peace, despite Hamas's refusal to accept co-existence with Israel.

Ministers in the new administration took the oath of office in a ceremony in Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Three ministers from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip were denied entry to the West Bank by Israel.

"Today and after announcing the government of national unity we declare the end of division that caused catastrophic harm to our cause," Abbas said.

Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since seizing the territory from Fatah forces in a brief civil war in 2007. Past reconciliation efforts, largely brokered by Egypt, have failed over power-sharing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged world leaders not to rush into recognising the new Palestinian government, saying it would serve as a front for Hamas and "strengthen terrorism".

At the inauguration ceremony, Abbas said the new government would abide by commitments made by previous Palestinian administrations and by agreements ratified by the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, a reference to interim accords with Israel.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who spearheaded the peace efforts that collapsed when the unity deal was signed in April, spoke by telephone with Abbas and voiced his concern about Hamas's role in the government, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Israel, the United States and the European Union regard Hamas as a terrorist group over its refusal to recognise Israel, accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals and renounce violence.

In his telephone call, Kerry stressed the importance of the new government commiting to those principles, Psaki said.

"The Secretary stated that the United States would monitor the situation closely and judge any government based on its composition, policies, and actions," she added.

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kARIMAN aLY, mAADI
02-06-2014 06:46pm
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5+
Out of Your Mind
I do not understand. How dare you represent terrorist group? Hamas sold Pal cause cheap to Iran and was behind these terrorists attack in Egypt. It is betrayal to our trust for giving Gaza to refugees. Hamas gangs must be tried in court of law for their crimes.
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3



Brian
02-06-2014 06:20pm
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27+
No hiding place
It seems to me that Hamas has agreed this deal with Fatah in order to strengthen it's position against the onslaught { which will surely come} from President El Sisi. Hamas has demonstrated time and again that it has no interest in peace in the region.. for them war and terrorism is a business..They "tax" good that are smuggled into Gaza, they are in the paid employ of the Muslim Brotherhood, they train and equip terrorist groups that are attacking Egypt.. it is surely a matter of time before President El Sisi takes the army into Gaza and removes these terrorists to Egyptian jails.. No egyptian will ever forget this group slaughtering Egyptians
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2



Amourah Idris, Aswan
02-06-2014 04:03pm
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21+
Terrorist Unity Government
It was bad decision and you will bear its consequences. It is betrayal to our trust for giving you Gaza as a refuge for refugees in 1948. Hamas leader will pay for their crimes against Egypt.
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1



Omar, Qena
02-06-2014 03:59pm
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22+
Moving Backward
How you partner with terrorist group as recently declared by Egypt? Egypt accepted PAL refugees in Gaza and you betrayed our trust. Hamas will never get away for its crimes against Egypt.
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Khaled
03-06-2014 08:44am
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1+
Your reactions are exactly the same as Netanyahu's
Your reactions are all irrational. If you looked at the agreement, Hamas has basically surrendered to Abbas. Egypt had a role in making the agreement. The border between Gaza and Egypt will not be patrolled by the Palestinian Authority. Your grudges against Hamas are the result of a false media campaign that you all believe because you don't know any better and are ignorant. This agreement is the best thing to happen to the Palestinian cause in 10 years. The division of Palestine was a dark chapter and it will not continue just because the Israelis and some uninformed Egyptians object. By the way, I know that every person who commented on this article is actually one person. You're pathetic
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