Abbas's chief of staff: Unity government close

PA President Mahmoud Abbas's Chief of Staff Rafiq Husseini said on Sunday that the formation of a Palestinian unity government that would renew negotiations with Israel was close, Israel Radio reported. Husseini said in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper that before a unity government could be established, kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit must be released, as must the Palestinian parliament members in Israeli custody. He added that any unity government would have to recognize Israel, and if Hamas refused to do so, it would not take part in the government.