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Palestinian talks postponed

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Palestinian talks postponed

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Talks between rival Palestinian factions have been postponed after Hamas set new terms for setting up a new unity government.

The new conditions were revealed following talks in Cairo where the Egyptians have been trying to bring the two sides together after a bloody split in 2007.

The Fatah and Hamas leaders, Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal agreed earlier this month to form a unity government.

The process was set in motion with a reconciliation deal in spring 2011. The latest demands from the Islamist Hamas faction look likely to mean that deal will not be put into effect.

It wants key departments in any new administration, including the vital interior ministry. It also wants Abbas to have a Hamas deputy based in Gaza.

Abbas wanted an administration staffed by independents and technocrats to protect western funding and seems likely to reject the new demands.