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RAMALLAH - The Obama administration has told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that it doesn't object to the formation of a new government under a deal between Abbas and Hamas, a Palestinian official said Saturday.
Palestinian officials talked with US diplomats about the agreement Abbas signed with Khaled Mashaal in Qatar earlier this week, where Abbas will accordingly form and chair an interim government, said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee.
Washington saw that there was no reason for reservations given that Abbas will head the government and its members would be independents, Ashrawi told Xinhua.
The deal, better known as Doha declaration, enables the Islamic Hamas movement and Abbas' Fatah party to implement a reconciliation agreement Egypt has brokered last year.
The interim government will prepare for general and presidential elections to restore political unity in the Palestinian territories. The political split worsened when Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over Gaza in 2007.
For the United States, Israel and most of Europe, Hamas is seen as a terrorist organization because it doesn't recognize Israel.
Ashrawi noted that the European Union has quickly welcomed the Doha declaration. She rejected Israel's position that the agreement doesn't help push the peace process or improve the living conditions of the Palestinians.
"Israel invents any reason to distract the world's attention from blaming it for the failure of the peace process and the continuation of its program to destroy the two-state solution," Ashrawi said.
Meanwhile, sources said that Abbas has asked the United States and the international Quartet of Middle East peacemakers to press Israel to facilitate Palestinian elections in East Jerusalem.
Abbas has officially sent his request through David Hale, the US Middle East envoy, when they met in Ramallah Wednesday, the sources said.
Israel doesn't allow the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to hold any political activity in East Jerusalem, which has been occupied since 1967.
In 2006, Israel responded to international pressure and allowed East Jerusalem residents to participate in parliamentary elections that Hamas won.
According to the sources, Abbas stressed that there will be no elections without East Jerusalem.