GAZA - Islamist Hamas handed control of two government ministries in Gaza to members of the new Palestinian unity government on Wednesday, a further sign of reconciliation between the rival factions after the collapse of peace talks with Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the cabinet on Monday in a deal with Hamas that elicited a US pledge to work with and fund the new administration, setting Washington on a collision course with Israel, which has shunned it.

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