Palestinians Cautiously Optimistic on Unity Pact

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Rival Palestinian factions are struggling to turn the "unity government" deal, signed with great pomp and glitz in Mecca late last week, into a reality in Gaza and the West Bank.

The international community's muted reaction to the deal has prompted cautious optimism among Palestinians that the world will give the unity government a chance, and that economic life might improve.

A big test comes next Monday when U.S. Secretary of State Rice hosts a trilateral peace meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas.

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