Israel's Minister of Internal Security has called upon his government to impose economic sanctions on both Fatah and Hamas. Yitzhak Aharonovitch made his call in response to the signing of the Palestine reconciliation agreement between the two factions; Israel views the agreement with "utmost seriousness".
Aharonovitch urged the Israeli government to end the transfer of any funds or any other financial benefits to the Palestinian Authority. He said that various economic sanctions should be imposed on the signatories of the reconciliation agreement as a "punitive measure" against the move, which ends four years of internal Palestinian division.
The minister expressed grave concern over the "dangerous" implications of the reconciliation agreement and the partnership of the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority with Hamas, which, he says, aspires to "destroy Israel".
In a meeting with the Association for Police and Homeland Security Correspondents, Mr Aharonovitch demanded an increase in the number of Israeli police officers entering Arab areas and neighbourhoods within the territories occupied since 1948. The move is ostensibly to ensure "law enforcement, collect weapons and bombs and monitor the development of violence".