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Wednesday
May042011

Palestinian Pact a Blow to Mideast Peace Process?

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Fatah and Hamas have signed a Palestinian reconciliation pact, a unity deal that will pose a new challenge for Israel and the U.S., given that Hamas opposes the peace process.

The two sides made their political union official, signing an agreement in Cairo that calls for an interim government and national elections within a year. Palestinian leaders say it's the beginning of a new era in Palestinian politics, a chance, as one official said, to put their house in order.

But the unity deal is expected to set back, if not stop, the peace process. Israel says it won't negotiate with Hamas until it recognizes the Jewish state and renounces violence. The U.S. has demanded the same.  A top Palestinian official said those demands are unfair and unworkable.

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