Which means by law the U.S. government can no longer give the Palestinian Authority aid money because Hamas is a designated terror group. Why do I get the feeling these laws will be ignored?

JERUSALEM — The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will head a joint government that will prepare for new elections, ending a prolonged stalemate over how to mend their bitter split.

The deal announced Monday removed a major stumbling block to implementing a reconciliation accord signed last year. The deal was reached during talks between Abbas and Khaled Meshal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, brokered in Doha, Qatar by Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

In a statement, both sides said Abbas would lead an interim government “of independent technocrats … whose task will be to facilitate presidential and parliamentary elections and begin the reconstruction of Gaza.”

Fatah and Hamas had been deadlocked for months over who would be prime minister for the interim government. Hamas rejected Salam Fayyad, the Western-backed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, on the grounds that he had led a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank.

Having Abbas at the helm of the joint government, holding the title of prime minister as well as president, means the Palestinians stand a good chance of preserving the Western financial aid and other support that the Fatah-governed Palestinian Authority currently receives.

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