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Abbas Supports Idea of Government of Technocrats to Overcome Political Standoff


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he supports the idea of having a temporary government of technocrats to help overcome the deadlock in forming a unity government with Hamas.

Mr. Abbas spoke to reporters Tuesday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Talks between Mr. Abbas' Fatah party and the ruling party Hamas have broken down over Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel, renounce violence and recognize past peace agreements.

At least a dozen people have been killed in recent clashes between the rival factions.

In other news, Israeli troops killed at least five Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Tuesday.

The dead include a militant leader and another person riding in the car with him when it was fired on, and a man throwing rocks at Israeli troops.

Also Tuesday, Israel said its forces discovered a tunnel between Egypt and the Gaza Strip that was used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

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