RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has begun swearing in a unity government in a major step toward ending a seven-year rift between rival factions Hamas and Fatah.
The two sides negotiated until the last minute on Monday over the composition of the Cabinet. Hamas demanded that Abbas reverse a decision to remove the position of prisoner affairs minister from the government.
Moments before the start of the swearing-in ceremony, senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayeh said the dispute was resolved.
Hamas' TV station, al-Aqsa, carried the ceremony live.
The move will increase friction with Israel, which has made clear it will reject the new government.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.