Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed his security cabinet yesterday that whilst Israel would not recognise the reconciliation of Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, it would do nothing to thwart the deal, according to Haaretz.
In response to calls by Education Minister Naftali Bennett for Israel to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority (PA) due to its coordination with Hamas, a group Israel deems a terrorist organisation; Netanyahu told members of the inner cabinet that he would not be protesting as such an agreement served Tel Aviv’s interests.
However, the prime minister reportedly clarified the matter with the US and Egypt stating that Israel did not see how the reconciliation would facilitate a resumption of the planned Arab-Israeli peace process.
Israel has reacted to the Palestinian unity with caution, the prime minister’s office stating only that they would “monitor developments on the ground and act accordingly”.
Last week, Israel announced conditions by which it would accept the Palestinian unity deal, namely that both parties would approve of all international agreements, recognise the State of Israel and disarm Hamas.
Israel is also demanding the immediate release of the bodies of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, as well as two civilians – Abera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayyed – allegedly held by Hamas.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu’s current attitude is notably different to the last time Palestinian factions attempted to reconcile in April 2014, when Israel cut off all diplomatic ties with the PA, which was one of the reasons that prompted the talks collapsed.