Netanyahu warns on government deal between Hamas and Fatah

New Palestinian cabinet will strengthen terror, says Israeli PM

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu: said Palestinian unity government  “rests on Hamas”, which “and the international community must not embrace it”. Photograph: Reuters/Dan Balilty

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu: said Palestinian unity government “rests on Hamas”, which “and the international community must not embrace it”. Photograph: Reuters/Dan Balilty

 

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called on the international community not to recognise a Palestinian unity government made up of former rival factions Fatah and Hamas.

In a statement before the expected announcement of the full Palestinian cabinet today, Mr Netanyahu again branded Hamas a terrorist organisation and said the new government would strengthen terror and not peace.

Via his official Twitter account, he said the unity government “rests on Hamas”, which “calls for the destruction of Israel, and the international community must not embrace it”.

Earlier, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said Israel had vowed to cut all ties with the Palestinian Authority once the unity government was announced.

Last Thursday, Mr Abbas confirmed that Rami Hamdallah would serve as prime minister in the new government, but the full cabinet announcement has been delayed as the two factions wrangle over key posts.

Mr Abbas said Israel was expected to withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority, a move last made in 2012 in response to a Palestinian UN statehood bid and which precipitated an economic crisis that led to riots in the West Bank.

Outspoken opposition

Yesterday, Israel denied travel permission to three Palestinian politicians seeking to leave Gaza for the West Bank before their swearing-in as ministers in the unity government.

The US planned to give the West Bank and Gaza about $440 million (€323 million) in aid in 2014, but in the aftermath of the April announcement a US state department spokesman said the deal could have “potential implications”.

The response in Europe appears more conciliatory, the EU having welcomed the April deal. In a statement on April 24th, it said it had consistently called for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and that it “welcomed the prospect of democratic elections”. – (Guardian service)