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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The reconciliation between the leaders of the two major Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, that has just been negotiated in Saudi Arabia is being hailed as a major political breakthrough. But the national unity government created as a result of this agreement faces many daunting challenges.

The agreement needs to be followed by an effort to end the economic and administrative siege of Palestine, as well as serious peace talks with Israel aimed at ending the 39-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At home, the new government needs to pay its civil servants, restore law and order, and end the chaos that has become the norm in the Palestinian territories.

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