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The Palestinian Authority unity government took office. The Hamas-Fatah coalition was sworn in Saturday in a joint parliamentary session in Gaza City and Ramallah. P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the more moderate Fatah, gave a conciliatory speech but his new partner in power, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the hard-line Hamas, spoke in favor of further “resistance” against Israel.

Jerusalem ruled out talks with the new government given its refusal to accept year-old peacemaking conditions set by the Quartet of foreign mediators. But there were signs that some Western powers were wavering. Washington voiced alarm at the P.A. platform, yet U.S. officials said they may talk to its new finance minister, Salam Fayyad, who is not a Hamas member. France invited P.A. Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr, another political independent, to visit Paris. One Western country immediately recognized the new P.A. government Norway.

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