Israel confronts Palestinian ‘unity’ pact with strict diplomatic conditions

Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on the Hamas terrorist organization, unless it ceases its traditional mode of operations.

After representatives of the Palestinian Fatah faction and the Hamas terrorist organization signed a preliminary pact laying the groundwork for a “unity” government, bringing to an end over 10 years of vicious infighting, the Israeli security cabinet issued a clear set of operating criteria with which any Palestinian ruling body must comply if it seeks diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

To that end, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced, “Pursuant to previous decisions, the Government of Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel, as long as it does not fulfill the following conditions.”

Among the aforementioned conditions outlined by the security cabinet is the requirement that Hamas  recognize Israel and “desist from terrorism,” which reflects previous demands issued by the Mideast Quartet.

Israel called upon the PA itself to act against Hamas terror infrastructures in Judea and Samaria, and served Hamas with an ultimatum to sever its ties with Iran.

More fundamentally, the Israeli government has demanded that Hamas be disarmed, echoing  requests from Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who presented this demand as a precondition to any unity government. To date, Hamas has signaled that it has no intentions of disarming.

The security cabinet also has demanded that Hamas return IDF fallen soldiers and Israeli civilians, referring to Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul in addition to several citizens who entered Gaza and have been held by Hamas since.

Among Israel’s other conditions for diplomatic relations is the requirement that the PA exercise full security control over Gaza and its crossings, including preventing smuggling. The PA has also been tasked with overseeing all funds and humanitarian equipment that enters Gaza.

By: Ebin Sandler, World Israel News