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Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:56 a.m.
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Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 24, 2014 at 11:03 a.m.

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government Thursday cut off Mideast peace talks and threatened to impose new sanctions against the Palestinians in response to a unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions, pushing a U.S. peace initiative to the brink of collapse.

Israel's Security Cabinet made the decision during a marathon emergency meeting convened to discuss the new Palestinian deal. The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation plan meant to end a seven-year rift on Wednesday.

Israel objects to any participation in Palestinian politics by Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel's destruction. The group has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks over the past two decades.

In a statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, the government said it would not hold negotiations with a government that "leans on Hamas."

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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