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Last Updated: Saturday February 18 2006 14:28 GMT

Palestinian parliament sworn in

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' apparent choice for prime minister

The new Palestinian parliament, which is dominated by the Islamic organisation Hamas, has been sworn in at a ceremony at Ramallah.

Hamas had previously supported violence in the neighbouring state of Israel and the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas called for an end to this conflict.

But many Hamas leaders rejected and criticised his suggestions.

Hamas won a clear majority of seats during elections in January and have nominated a new prime minister.

Members of Hamas based in Gaza had to join the ceremony by video link as Israel wouldn't allow them to travel to the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Israel, the US and the EU consider Hamas a terrorist group and have said they do not want to work with it.