Israeli minister Zeev Elkin said that the response of the Israeli government to the Palestinian reconciliation gives Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas two choices: either to strike a deal with Hamas or with Israel, Arabi21 reported on Friday.
Reported by the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon, Elkin said: “If Abbas chose Hamas, Israel would not be able to talk with him. If Abbas chose Israel, it would never talk with him as long as he is not committed to the [Israeli] conditions. In both cases, the American deal will not happen.”
According to Arabi21, Makor Rishon said that the Israeli response to the Palestinian reconciliation hints that Israel is working to undermine the American “bargain of the century”.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said: “The decisions of the Israeli cabinet [regarding the reconciliation] are considered a slap to this [American] bargain and it places obstacles ahead of it that makes it inapplicable as long as there is [Palestinian] reconciliation.”
On Tuesday, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would “not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas”. He said a number of conditions would need to be met in order for dialogue to begin: Hamas recognise Israel, “desists from terrorism” and disarms; the bodies of Israeli soldiers and civilians held by Hamas are returned; the PA exercises full security control in Gaza; the PA continues to act against Hamas “terror infrastructure” in the West Bank; Hamas severs its ties with Iran; and that funds and humanitarian equipment continues to flow into Gaza only via the PA.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected the conditions.