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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Palestinians Agree on Unity Government

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip --Hamas and Fatah formed a long-elusive unity government Thursday, hoping to lead the Palestinians out of international isolation, but were immediately rebuffed by Israel, which said it would not deal with the new coalition.

Israel said the Palestinian government's program would fall short of three international conditions for acceptance, including recognition of the Jewish state.

A member of the incoming Palestinian Cabinet, however, said the program was not final and that changes were possible before the parliament approves the coalition Saturday.

After months of stop-and-go negotiations, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas announced the final coalition lineup Thursday.

A draft of the coalition platform posted on the Hamas and Fatah web sites calls for continued observance of a truce with Israel but does not meet Israeli, U.S. and European requirements that the new government recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previous peace deals. The platform includes only a vague pledge to "respect" past peace deals, falling short of explicit recognition of Israel.

It also affirms the Palestinians' right to resist and "defend themselves against any Israeli aggression."

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said the program falls short of requirements.