Netanyahu warns Hamas against joining PA
Israeli PM says he will reject peace negotiations if Hamas is part of Palestinian government
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he would refuse peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority if Hamas joins the Palestinian government, according to Ynet.
Netanyahu issued his remarks at an annual meeting between Israel’s ambassadors and consuls-general at the Foreign Ministry, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The meeting came just days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo to discuss a reconciliation project that would see an incorporation of Hamas into the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
As part of the agreement between Fatah and Hamas, there would be new elections for the PLO’s two key bodies – the Palestine National Council and Executive Committee.
Netanyahu stated that he would not tolerate a Palestinian state that would potentially serve as a missile-launching base against Israel.
“I will not allow a Palestinian state to turn into Gaza and Lebanon,” he said.
“The Palestinians will have to recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. This precondition is non-negotiable.”
Mohammed Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and a PA negotiator with Israel, was quoted by London-based Asharq Alawsat newspaper on Sunday, regarding the possibility of the PLO annulling the Oslo Accords.
“The recognition of Israel was not a balanced recognition,” Shtayyeh said of the 1993 agreement between Israel and the PLO.
“The PLO recognized Israel in the geographic sense, but Israel did not recognize Palestine geographically, but as an institution. Israel only recognized the PLO. Now we are demanding a mutual recognition. We want Israel to recognize the Palestinian territories of 1967.”
The Israeli Prime Minister added that he would be willing to advance peace negotiations with the PA if previous security arrangements are maintained.
“We are willing to meet with the Palestinians anytime and anywhere,” Netanyahu said.