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News Brief

May 15, 2006
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Fatah and Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails negotiated an agreement for governance that implies recognition of Israel. The 18-point agreement was negotiated by top prisoners from each movement, The Associated Press reported. The agreement calls for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It also authorizes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a relative moderate who heads Fatah, to lead talks with Israel. Hamas’ top leaders have yet to respond to the agreement, but Khaled Meshaal, an exiled Hamas leader, called on Fatah on May 11 to join Hamas in rejecting Israel’s existence. Hamas, a terrorist group, won control of the P.A. government in January elections. Israel and the West refuse to deal with the government until it recognizes Israel and renounces terrorism, and the subsequent cut in assistance has deepened the Palestinians’ economic crisis.

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