I hear what Israel says about the Palestinian groups not fully recognizing the Jewish state, but at the same time, Israel does not recognize them so we'll continue to see the same cycle of violence. From AP:
The Islamic militant Hamas and its Fatah rivals forged a unity government Thursday to end a year of political wrangling, isolation and bloodshed. Israel quickly rejected it, saying it failed to recognize the Jewish state.We've heard rumblings that Condi Rice is having her first real fight with George Bush because she supposedly feels that Israel is deliberately blocking peace efforts while Bush just says, "Anything Israel does is great with me, no matter how extreme!"
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said he hoped the new government would "launch a new era" for the Palestinians, putting an end to bloody infighting while satisfying international demands ahead of a crucial Arab summit in Saudi Arabia at the end of the month and a visit to the region this weekend by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Israel urged its Western allies to maintain an aid embargo imposed after Hamas won election in January 2006 and set up a government by itself.
Initial U.S. and European reaction to the new Palestinian team was cool, while Russia was relatively upbeat.
The West cut off aid to the Palestinians a year ago, labeling Hamas a terror group and forcing it to agree to bring Fatah, the movement of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas, back as a junior partner. Both sides said the main goal was to stop clashes that have taken more than 140 lives in recent months, but restoration of aid and resumption of the peace dialogue with Israel remained high priorities.
A dormant Saudi peace plan from 2002 is expected to resurface at the March 28-29 Riyadh summit, putting pressure on Israel to respond. The plan offers Israel recognition if it withdraws from the West Bank and east Jerusalem and refers to the right of Palestinian refugees from the 1948-49 Mideast war and their descendants to return to their homes.