RAMALLAH, West Bank, (AFP) - The Palestinian rift widened on Wednesday after a new government, again headed by Western-backed Salam Fayyad took power, with Hamas categorically rejecting the cabinet. Fayyad and the new ministers took the oath of office in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Tuesday, a day after a fifth round of reconciliation talks between President Mahmud Abbas secular Fatah faction and the Islamist Hamas movement ended in Egypt without a deal. The Premier and the previous cabinet resigned in early March to pave the way for a unity deal between the two factions which have been at loggerheads since Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Hamas was quick to denounce the new cabinet, which does not include any members of the Islamic Resistance Movement and comes ahead of Abbas first official meeting with Obama in Washington on May 28. This government is illegal and we will not recognise it, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said in a statement, adding that, with its creation, Abbas was deliberately sabotaging the Palestinian dialogue. Analysts said the new government would only deepen the divide between Abbas West Bank-based leadership and the Islamist masters of Gaza. The new government will entrench the divide between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said Mahdi Abdel Hadi, a political analyst. The (intra-Palestinian) differences are too big. This cabinet will not be able to bridge them and, on the contrary, is likely to exacerbate them, he said. The divisions were on stark display on Tuesday, when Hamas prevented two Fatah members who are due to be ministers in the new cabinet from leaving Gaza to take the oath of office in Ramallah. Others said the new govt was formed as a result of pressure by Washington ahead of the meeting between Abbas and Obama. Unfortunately the Quartet (on Middle East peace that comprises the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States) and especially the Americans have become key players on the Palestinian political stage and get involved in the smallest details, said independent MP Hassan Khreisheh. Reconciliation between the two camps is crucial for reconstruction of Gaza following Israels devastating 22-day offensive in December and January, and for progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Meanwhile, Israeli air force jets staged a series of strikes Tuesday on Gaza after Palestinian activists in there fired a rocket into the yard of a house in the southern city of Sderot, Palestinians and medical sources said. Israeli planes bombed the area six times, targeting underground alleged tunnels used to smuggle goods into the besieged territory. In other raids they targeted armed men belonging to Hamas, according to the Islamist group. The Israeli planes also attacked two metal workshops in Gaza, injuring two people, according to emergency services. The Israeli army says the two workshops were used to make rockets. Israeli defence forces confirmed the attacks on the tunnels. The rocket allegedly fired earlier Tuesday caused some damage to the yard of the house in Sderot, an Israeli city a few kilometres from the Gaza border which is regularly targeted by Palestinian rocket fire.