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Israel's Olmert Says Hamas-Led Government Will be 'Terrorist Authority'


Israeli interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the Palestinian Authority is becoming a "terrorist authority" now that the militant group Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian parliament.

Mr. Olmert's comments, his harshest public statements yet on Hamas' election victory last month, came ahead of an expected decision Sunday by the Israeli cabinet to impose tough new restrictions on the Palestinians aimed at weakening a new Hamas-led government.

Saturday, 74 members of Hamas were sworn in as lawmakers in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council. Afterwards, Hamas said it will not abide by previously signed agreements recognizing Israel's right to exist, despite a call to do so by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The militant group has nominated a Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, to be the next Palestinian Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials say two members of the militant Popular Resistance Committees have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on the southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli army officials say the two men were trying to plant a bomb close to a security fence that separates Gaza from Israel.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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