GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian standoff intensified Sunday after Hamas rejected an ultimatum from President Mahmoud Abbas to endorse a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, and a pregnant woman was killed during a clash between the rivals’ forces in Gaza. In a rare dose of good news, some Palestinian public workers began withdrawing money from their banks, the first time they have been paid in three months because of a Western aid cutoff. Also, Israel’s premier talked to Egypt’s president about resuming peace talks with the Palestinians. Abbas will order a referendum on a plan drawn up by top Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli jail calling for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem alongside Israel, a Fatah official said Sunday. Abbas set a Tuesday deadline for Hamas agreement. ‘If Hamas doesn’t give a positive answer, Abbas will issue a presidential decree calling for a referendum,’ Fatah official Azam al-Ahmad said at a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the unsuccessful talks have been taking place. An Abbas-Hamas struggle over control of security forces has ignited several violent incidents. Hamas formed its own militia last month, […]

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