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Negotiations were suspended by Israel

Negotiations were suspended by Israel after the two main Palestinian factions, secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas, signed a reconciliation deal last Wednesday.

The agreement calls for a unity government within weeks.

Israel said it would refuse to negotiate with any party that includes Hamas as a partner. Hamas refuses to recognise Israel and is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US and other countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC that Mr Abbas could "have peace with Israel or a pact with Hamas - he can't have both".

At the time the US expressed "disappointment" over the unity deal, but pushed for the talks to continue.

The US is now likely to monitor developments while continuing to push for a resumption of talks says the BBC's UN correspondent Barbara Plett-Usher.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, are likely to pursue statehood through international organisations such as the UN instead of through bilateral talks, our correspondent adds Microsoft hackers gain access XP impact newer alternative wisdom Mers coronavirus trouble outbreak hospitals designated voiced concerns Paulo Malhaes detained and tortured graphic testimony help identify clear Holy celebration of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII God-chosen country Holy wisdom revised the figure down to one a blend of soy and dairy proteins .