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Palestine's Unity Government meets, but Israel refuses any contact

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Palestine's Unity Government meets, but Israel refuses any contact


The first meeting of the new Palestinian unity government got underway in Gaza and the West Bank against a backdrop of international refusal to lift a boycott of foreign aid.

America said it would allow contact with secular government members, even though Islamist Hamas ministers would be left in the cold.

But the US maintained that its year-long ban on direct aid to the authority will remain in place until the administration recognises Israel and renounces violence.

This man said he hoped the new government would bring an end to the international sanctions and the subsequent hardships which go with them.

Israel, though is taking a harder line than the US, refusing any contact with the new administration.

The cabinet in Jersusalem approved Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s policy, urging the international community to do the same.

Referring to the Hamas call for resistance against Israel in all its forms, Olmert told his cabinet the new Unity government contained ‘very problematic elements’, which limit Israel’s ability to conduct a dialogue with the secular President Abbas.

Israel also says it won’t hand over tax revenues it has been withholding.

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