The rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas agreed Wednesday to reconcile and form an interim government ahead of elections, after a four-year feud, in what both sides hailed as a chance to start a fresh page in their national history.
Israel said the accord, which was brokered in secrecy by Egypt, would not secure peace in the Middle East and urged Abbas to carry on shunning the Islamist movement, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 after ousting Fatah in a civil war.
Forging Palestinian unity is regarded as crucial to reviving any prospect for an independent Palestinian state, but Western powers have always refused to deal with Hamas because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence.
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