By Ted belman
Lately there has been a lot of talk about a unity government being formed between the PA and Hamas.
Israel has said, no way, no how. In fact Keinon and Abu Toameh title their recent article on the subject “Jerusalem to cut ties with PA if Hamas added to unity government”
Israel will stop dealing with the Palestinian Authority if it brings Hamas into the government, a senior government official said Saturday night, a few hours after PA President Mahmoud Abbas met in Ramallah with a senior Hamas delegation for conciliation talks.
“Abbas has to choose whether he wants peace with Israel, or peace with Hamas,” the official said. “He can’t have both. If he chooses peace with Hamas it will bury the peace process.”
Apparently Israel wants to see the PA under Abbas once again take control of Gaza rather than a permanent split. Mofaz has said the same thing.
Israel’s objection to Hamas inside the PA government would evaporate, the official added, if the organization accepted the Quartet’s three conditions for acceptance: forswearing violence, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous Israel-Palestinian agreements.
They report also on the position of Abbas.
“We must deal with the changes in the region and confront together the challenges facing the Palestinians, first and foremost the continued Israeli aggression and threats to launch a fresh attack on the Gaza Strip,” Abbas was quoted as saying.
He told Hamas officials that it was important to abide by a cease-fire “so as not to give Israel an excuse to pursue its threats and to tackle the difficult internal situation facing the Palestinian cause – especially with regards to the September deadline [when the Palestinians are scheduled to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state].”
The Palestinians, he stressed, must be united ahead of the September deadline.
“No peace would achieve the aspirations of our people – to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital – without ending the division [with Hamas] and achieving national unity,” Abbas added.