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Abbas still has hop of compromise with Hamas

Published 10/12/2006

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas threatened to call early elections to end

an impasse with Hamas but set no date for the vote, indicating he has not given

up on forming a unity government with the Islamic militant group.

But Hamas greeted the proposal made last night with anger, saying Abbas lacked

the authority to replace the government it leads.

Abbas is under increasing pressure at home and abroad to take decisive action.

He is reported to be planning a speech later this week announcing his intention

to hold elections if a coalition with Hamas cannot be formed.

Hamas officials said Abbas has no authority to call new elections and accused him of undermining efforts to unify the Palestinian people.

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