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Abbas warns he'll oust Hamas regime

October 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would dissolve the Hamas-led government within two weeks if the Islamic militant group did not agree to form a coalition with his Fatah party, Palestinian officials said Friday.

Abbas told visiting European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana that he would replace the Cabinet with an apolitical panel of professionals, the officials said.

The moderate Palestinian Authority president had raised the idea before but had promised not to force the move on a reluctant Hamas. His new stand suggested a willingness to take a stronger line in a bid to ease Western sanctions designed to force the Islamic group to moderate its militantly anti-Israel ideology.

The Palestinian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

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