Mahmoud Abbas authorized Ismail Haniyeh to form a new government. The Palestinian Authority president announced the move in a news conference Thursday. Haniyeh, a Hamas member, resigned as prime minister earlier in the day to pave the way for the Fatah-Hamas coalition. The coalition resulted from a Feb. 8 summit in Saudi Arabia between Hamas, the terrorist group that governs the Palestinian Authority, and Fatah, headed by Abbas. There was hope in the Palestinian Authority that with this agreement, the international community would resume direct aid to the cash-strapped government.
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