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The Palestinian government that was sworn in on June 2, subsequent to the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement signed in April, represents a significant victory for President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.The unity government has pledged itself to three principles that were problematic for Hamas, but that the United States and European Union countries demanded as conditions for their aid: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel. Security cooperation with Israel, which is anathema to Hamas, will also continue.It seems fair, therefore, to conclude that on the Israeli right, there is little enthusiasm for the enhanced international credibility that the unity government could bring to the Palestinian quest for an end to occupation and an equitable two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.It has led to a major search for the perpetrators, whom Netanyahu – and possibly even Abbas – presumes (without evidence) to be members of Hamas seeking to exchange them for some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks denote little cause for optimism
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