A Palestinian Hamas militant gestures at the camera as he takes part in a military training on a street in Gaza City October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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recognize Israel, U.S. insistsA top aide to U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that an emerging Palestinian unity government must recognize Israel and disarm Hamas, Washington's first detailed response to a landmark reconciliation deal signed last week. Hamas' leader in the Gaza Strip responded that "no one" can force it to disarm or recognize Israel, while another senior official rejected the comments as "blatant interference" in Palestinian affairs.The statement also echoed a response this week by the Israeli government, which vowed not to negotiate with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas unless the movement agrees to a list of demands.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement signed a reconciliation deal with Hamas in Cairo a week ago aimed at ending a bitter 10-year split.The Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organization has recognized Israel, but Hamas has not and is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, and the Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade for more than a decade.
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