Israel rules out negotiating with Palestinian unity government for now


( The Israeli government announced Tuesday it would not engage in diplomatic negotiations with the current iteration of a Palestinian unity government, which includes the terror group Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during the funeral of late Israeli President Shimon Peres, held at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Sept. 30, 2016. Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel will not conduct negotiations as long as Hamas does not recognize Israel, disarm and renounce terrorism, in accordance with the Middle East Quartet principles. The Israeli government called on Hamas to sever ties with Iran, one of its top patrons.

Additionally, for Israel to negotiate, Hamas must return two Israeli civilians currently being held by the terror group as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during the 2014 Gaza war. 

Finally, Israel called on the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is currently controlled by the Fatah party, to exercise full security control in Gaza and continue to act against Hamas’s terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

Last week, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement that would end PA sanctions on Hamas-ruled Gaza and restore a PA-controlled government in the coastal territory by Dec. 1. 

Posted on October 17, 2017 .