Cabinet meeting

Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with the PA until its new partner, the Hamas terror organization, fulfills basic demands.

Israel announced Tuesday that it will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with Palestinian Authority (PA) after it signed a reconciliation deal with the Hamas terror group.

In a statement, the Security Cabinet said that Israel will not negotiate with a government that relies on Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza and which calls for the destruction of Israel, as long as it does not fulfill several elementary conditions. These conditions include Hamas’ recognition of Israel and its cessation of terrorist activities. Hamas must also be disarmed, and must return IDF fallen soldiers and Israeli civilians it holds.

Similarly, the PA must exercise full security control in Gaza, including at the crossings, and prevent smuggling, and it must continue to act against Hamas’ terror infrastructures in Judea and Samaria.

Additionally, Israel is demanding Hamas sever its ties with Iran, which is funding its terrorism enterprise.

Finally, funds and humanitarian equipment will continue to flow into Gaza only via the PA and the mechanisms that have been established for this purpose. Hamas has previously abused such aid and used it for building its terrorism infrastructure.

The PA and Hamas recently signed a Palestinian reconciliation agreement, which gives the PA full control over Gaza in return for easing of the PA’s pressure on the enclave.

The rival factions, who have waged bloody campaigns against each other over the past decade, have signed an agreement, which according to reports does not touch on Hamas’ vast military infrastructure or the Palestinian attitude toward Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the reconciliation deal would make “peace much harder to achieve,” but indicated that he would not completely cut ties with the PA over it and that addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza was in Israel’s interest.

Earlier this month, Special United States envoy Jason Greenblatt said that any unified Palestinian government must accept the Quartet principles for the peace process and “commit to nonviolence.”

Amos Yadlin, the former chief of Israel’s military intelligence assessed the Fatah-Hamas agreement in a series of tweets on Monday. He noted that “if Hamas doesnt accept the Quartet’s principles, Israel is now even further away from having a partner for peace.

However, despite the weaknesses of the deal, Yadlin advised Israel not to object to the deal, but “instead, Israel should let it collapse on its own, as all previous [Palestinian reconciliation] agreements have.”

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from the Tower)

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Source: United with Israel