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P.A. official quits

The Palestinian Authority minister overseeing security services quit over renewed factional fighting. Interior Minister Hani Kawasmi stepped down Monday, undermining the Palestinian Authority coalition government formed two months ago when Hamas and Fatah joined in the face of a Western aid embargo.

The resignation came amid a new surge of street fighting that claimed the lives of at least seven Palestinians, most of them Hamas or Fatah gunmen.

Kawasmi, an academic, is not formally a member of Hamas, though he is considered loyal to the Islamist terrorist group. His appointment to the key Interior Ministry post was seen as a way to build bridges between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah.

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