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Hamas or Israel? Netanyahu says Palestinian Authority must choose

Published time: April 23, 2014 13:25
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo / Baz Ratner)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo / Baz Ratner)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas must choose either peace with Israel or an alliance with Hamas, but he cannot have both, Israel’s PM has said. His comments come after the Palestinian Authority restarted talks on a unity government with Hamas.

During a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said if the Palestinian Authority united with Hamas it would bring an end to the US-sponsored peace talks.

“Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he’s moving into peace with Hamas,” Netanyahu said. “He has to choose: Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far he hasn’t done so.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments and said signing an agreement with Hamas was equivalent to "signing the termination of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

Furthermore Netanyahu said that the Authority continues to demand “additional conditions,” knowing that Israel cannot accept them. On Tuesday, President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated the conditions that Israel needs to fulfill for the continuation of peace talks.

He called for the establishment of borders between Israel and Palestine, the release of a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners and a halt to the construction of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority has been pushing for these conditions since the restart in negotiations with Israel following a three-year hiatus last July.

Abbas also threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority, forcing Israel to take on the burden of governing the region, if bilateral talks fail.

"If the negotiations stop, it's the Israeli government that will bear the responsibility for the economic situation and the paying of the salaries of (Palestinian) employees, workers and farmers, for health and for education just as it did before the establishment of the Authority," he told reporters Tuesday.

The Palestinian Authority revived talks with Hamas on Tuesday and agreed to form a government of national unity within the “next few weeks,” Palestinian officials told AFP.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority now face an April 29 deadline to resolve their differences and make headway with bilateral talks before Washington withdraws its support.

Comments (60)


brian 28.04.2014 04:50

Noshel if you look at it Israel isn't even a state in 1949 Britain gave them half of the Palestinians land because at one point not even America wanted anything to do with em and thats known history now look at it america bends over backwards to make them a bunch of happy chappies


brian 28.04.2014 04:46

Netanyahu doesn't want peace never has he is like america enjoys war between them both they could start WW3 they got a great love for the blame game when it comes to other countries never them always the other person started it. they like little school bullies one day it will come back and bite em on the butt most of the world has woken up to their rubbish


Sharina Bahrin 26.04.2014 06:06

WHAT IF HAMAS WITHDRAWS YUSOF QARADHAWI'S FATWA ALLOWING SUICIDE BOMBING? SINCE 50 PAKISTANI ULEMA HAVE issued a joint fatwa, calling terrorism and suicide attacks haram (forbidden) in Islam?

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