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UN's Ban Urges Abbas Not To Abandon Israel Talks

Mahmud Abbas (right) speaks with Jordan's King Abdullah II during a welcoming ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah last November.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas not to abandon talks with Israel.

The appeal comes after Abbas and his Fatah movement signed a deal on governing with rival Hamas.

Under the deal signed in Doha, Hamas and Fatah would set up an interim government ahead of elections in May.

The so-called "Doha Declaration" is the latest attempt by the rival Palestinian movements to implement a reconciliation deal signed last April.

Reacting to the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Abbas that he had to choose "peace with Hamas, or peace with Israel."

Hamas rejects talks with the Jewish state and has launched countless attacks, including suicide bombings, inside Israel and the occupied territories.

compiled from agency reports

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