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Netanyahu: No Palestinian unity at Israel’s ‘expense’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today dismissed Palestinian unity talks saying he will not accept any deal unless it meets certain conditions.

He said he could not accept a deal that came “at the expense of our existence”, at a meeting of his Likud party in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim where he also backed a law that would annex 19 settlements.

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“For whoever wants reconciliation, our explanation to them is very simple: recognise the State of Israel, dismantle Hamas’ military wing and cut ties with Iran,” he said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah makes a speech during the first cabinet meeting in Gaza since unity government was established in 2014, in Gaza City, Gaza on 3 October 2017 [Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah makes a speech during the first cabinet meeting in Gaza since unity government was established in 2014, in Gaza City, Gaza on 3 October 2017 [Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli government had previously kept quiet about the latest attempts at reconciliation, announced by Hamas two weeks ago, despite showing strong opposition to any deal in the past.

The hardline right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennet had voiced his disapproval earlier today, demanding Israel stop transferring tax payments to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah held his weekly cabinet meeting in Gaza today in a major sign of progress towards the Egypt-led reconciliation despite remaining complications.

Read: Netanyahu is ‘no longer talking about a Palestinian state’

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