There are signs of warming in Israel to proposals for a unity government in the Palestinian Authority. An Israeli military judge has ordered the release of several Palestinian Hamas officials held since June when an Israeli soldier was taken by gunmen on the Gaza Strip. The officials remain in detention while the decision is appealed. However the move is being seen as potentially easing tensions after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced an agreement between Fatah and Hamas for the Palestinians to form a unity government. But will this be enough for the United States and the European Union to restore financial aid?
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, on a visit to the Palestinian Authority, was giving little away. “We are in principle in favour of the unity government but we have to study the details,” he said. “We are reassured that the president has launched this new step. It is a positive step that we all respect”. One sticking point might be the recognition of Israel. And while that recognition is a condition of US/EU aid to the Palestinians, Hamas still maintains it will never recognise the Jewish state.
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