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Tel Aviv fails to persuade international community to boycott unity government

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government is facing a diplomatic crisis after failing to convince the world to reject the would-be Palestinian reconciliation government which is set to include Hamas. Israel has also failed to convince the international community to pressure Hamas to recognise Israel and stop violence, according to the Israeli radio station Reshet Bet.

A political analyst who spoke to the radio said that high level circles in Tel Aviv believe that the Palestinian government that will be formed in the coming days and will be recognised by the International Quartet. He expects that the Quartet will issue a statement implying that it will be difficult for Israel to try to convince them to boycott the new government.

The Israeli government also decided, during its weekly cabinet meeting, to postpone moving its ministerial offices to Jerusalem for a further five additional years until 2018.

The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat called for the decision to be reconsidered, saying it was a serious insult to the city.

The decision to postpone the move of the cabinet’s offices to Jerusalem resulted from Israel’s concern about an international backlash. The cabinet’s decision was also based on the need to prepare Jerusalem to receive an increased number of government employees who will have to relocate in the event of a transfer to the city.

The international community does not recognise Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem that took place in 1967, after which, Israel annexed the eastern part and considered the entire city the eternal and unified capital of Israel. Even Israel’s key ally, the US, does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and refuses to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on its website that the move of the cabinet’s ministerial offices to Jerusalem is one of the most dangerous settler projects in the city, as it paves the way for an increase in the number of settlers in East Jerusalem. Nir Barkat said that the cabinet’s decision was damaging to the city and to plans to develop Jerusalem’s economy. Barkat went on to vow to continue to build thousands of housing units in Jerusalem.

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