RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signaled on Thursday that peace talks with Israel would still be possible during the term of a new interim government formed as part of a unity deal with Hamas.
Abbas said the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which he heads and to which Hamas does not belong, would still be responsible for "handling politics, negotiations".
He was speaking for the first time since the unity deal was unveiled in Cairo on Wednesday.
Abbas also commented on reactions by Israeli officials to the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, saying: "Netanyahu and Lieberman said yesterday that I had to choose between Israel and Hamas, but Hamas is part of the Palestinian people, and whether or not you like or agree with them, they are part of our nation and they cannot be extracted from us."
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