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Palestinian Officials: Hamas Will Honor Truce With Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left, speak as they head the first cabinet meeting of the new coalition government at Abbas' office, in Gaza City, March 2007 (file photo)

The Palestinian militant group Hamas says it will honor an unofficial truce with Israel after signing a reconciliation deal with Fatah.

Officials say Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal will attend a ceremony Wednesday marking the signing of the unity deal, which will end the divide that has left Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with rival governments.

A group of smaller Palestinian factions signed the unity agreement in Cairo Tuesday.

The agreement between the Palestinian factions calls for the formation of an interim government followed by presidential and legislative elections within a year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sharply criticized the deal. He called Tuesday for Mr. Abbas to cancel the agreement and "choose the path to peace with Israel."

Last week he said there was "no possibility for peace with both."

Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist group.

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

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