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US to Recognize Palestinian Unity Government

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malik, right, shakes hands with President Mahmoud Abbas during a swearing-in ceremony of its unity government in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 2, 2014.
The United States says it is giving its support to the Palestinian's new unity government despite concerns from Israel it will give influence to Hamas.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday the U.S. would judge the new government between Fatah and Hamas by its actions, including its commitment to nonviolence and recognition of Israel.

"We intend to work with this government, but will be watching closely to make sure it upholds the principles that President Abbas reiterated today," she said.

Psaki said the United States would continue to disperse U.S. foreign assistance to the government but would continue to "evaluate the policies and positions of the new government."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the new unity government Monday following a landmark reconciliation deal with Islamist movement Hamas.

Fatah and Hamas have separately governed the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the past seven years.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged world leaders not to recognize the Palestinian government, saying Sunday it will "strengthen terrorism" because Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel.

"I call on all the responsible elements in the international community not to hurry and recognize a Palestinian government which includes Hamas or leaning on Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel and the international community must not embrace it. This will not strengthen peace. It will strengthen terror," he said.

The installation of a unity government follows an agreement the Palestinian sides made in April for political cooperation.