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Israel furious over US and EU response to new Palestinian unity government

June 3, 2014 at 10:59 am

Israel is “deeply disappointed” with the Obama administration’s announcement that it would work with the Palestinian unity government sworn in by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, Israeli media reported.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted senior Israeli official as saying: “We are deeply disappointed by the comments of the State Department regarding working with the Palestinian unity government.”

Spokesperson of the US State Department Jen Psaki revealed in a daily press briefing on Monday that the US is willing to deal with the new Palestinian unity government, which is composed of independent technocratic ministers representing the national interest.

“Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but we’ll be watching closely to ensure that it upholds the principles that President Abbas reiterated today,” said Psaki.

Israeli officials claim that this development will harm the peace process because they consider Hamas to be a terrorist organisation. “This Palestinian government is a government backed by Hamas, which is a terror organisation committed to Israel’s destruction,” the officials said.

Haaretz cited Israeli Communications Minister Gilad Erdan blasting “America’s naiveté” on this issue, adding that the US is surrendering ” to Palestinian dictates”.

EU officials have also told reporters said that they are ready to deal with the new Palestinian unity government despite Israel’s concern.

“We never said we would not [deal with Hamas],” Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida told the Associated Press news agency. “It is a question of substance rather than the question of composition of the government,” he added.