Israel’s security cabinet decided on Thursday to suspend peace talks, just five days before the scheduled end of the current talks. The security cabinet’s decision comes after the announcement of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact.
A statement released by the Prime Minister’s office following the announcement stated, “Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. Abu Mazen formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to wage Jihad against Jews. Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu stated on the pact, “I think the pact with Hamas kills peace. If it moves forward it means that peace moves backward. As the State Department said yesterday, the ball is in the Palestinian court. I hope they dribble it in the right direction. Right now they are kicking it backward…. As long as I’m Prime Minister of Israel, I will never negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by terrorist organizations committed to our destruction.”
Abbas has reportedly claimed to UN representatives that Hamas, under a unity government with Fatah, will “adhere to the principles of non-violence and recognition of the State of Israel.” Abbas told Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process that the unity government will be committed to peaceful relations with Israel.
White House Spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated on the unity government that, “The timing was troubling, and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement. This could seriously complicate our efforts — not just our efforts but the efforts of the parties to extend their negotiations…. It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist.”
Amir Tsarfati is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.
Photo credit: khilafaah1924 (Creative Commons)