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By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas's unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group. The United States had been struggling to extend the talks beyond an original April 29 deadline for a peace accord. "The government of Israel will not hold negotiations with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas, a terror organization that calls for Israel's destruction," an official statement said after a six-hour meeting. Asked to clarify whether that meant the talks were now frozen or would be called off only after a unity government was formed, a senior Israeli official said: "They are currently suspended." In Washington, a U.S. official said the United States would have to reconsider its assistance to Abbas's aid-dependent Palestinian Authority if the Western-backed leader and Hamas formed a government.