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Hamas, Fatah near deadline on new government

Negotiations to form a Palestinian unity government are continuing, but hurdles remain as the deadline approaches fast.
Members of Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas keep guard at the house of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City May 14, 2014, as they prepare to handover the house which Hamas seized during a brief civil war with Fatah in 2007. Officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and the rival Islamist Hamas group met in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss the make-up of a unity government they hope will end a seven-year schism. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3P45
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinians are looking forward to the day when the Fatah and Hamas reconciliation government is finally formed, despite fears that this formation might face last-minute roadblocks, as the scheduled end of May date for its completion approaches.

Questions abound about the reasons for the delay: Who will head the new government? Will it be President Mahmoud Abbas, or someone else? How will it receive its vote of confidence? Will the oath of office be taken before Abbas, or will the Legislative Council be convened to grant it confidence? Questions that the reconciliation agreement did not provide answers to, nor the shuttle diplomacy visits between Fatah and Hamas.

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