People release pigeons during an event to show support for a unity deal between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, in Gaza City, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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Israel's government decided Tuesday not to negotiate with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas if the Islamist movement does not disarm, recognize the country and give up violence.In addition, it said the remains of two missing Israeli soldiers must be returned from the Gaza Strip to Israel.Three Israeli civilians believed held in Gaza, all said to be mentally unstable, must also be returned, it said.Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah, based in the occupied West Bank, and Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, signed the unity agreement in Cairo on Thursday.The Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organization has recognized Israel, unlike Hamas.Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, and the Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade for around a decade.
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