Olmert: Hamas authority on the way
Acting Prime Minister Olmert tells cabinet 'There should not be misunderstandings. The minute the parliament is sworn in, the PA becomes a Hamas authority. It doesn't matter how many technocrats are heading it. From our perspective, the rules of the game will change'
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said during the weekly government meeting on Sunday "from the minute the parliament is sworn in, the Palestinian Authority will become the Hamas authority."
Referring to Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who attacked the acting prime minister for transferring funds to the PA after the Hamas victory, Olmert said, "At times, when the former finance minister (Netanyahu) transferred funds to the PA, a terror attack took place the next day."
Olmert justified the handing over of NIS 250 million (USD 54 million) to the Palestinian Authority, as advised by security officials.
"Chairman (Mahmoud) Abbas is a legitimate chairman. In the next period, the minute the Palestinian parliament is sworn in, the rules of the game change. We don't wink at anyone – if we say no, it's no, and if we say yes, it's yes," said Olmert.
Olmert added that "There should not be misunderstandings. The minute the parliament is sworn in, the Palestinian Authority becomes a Hamas authority. It doesn't matter how many technocrats are heading it. From our perspective, the rules of the game will change, and we've made that clear to all the relevant elements."
During the meeting, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz briefed ministers on his meeting with NATO defense Ministers, and talks with his Russian counterpart, and Arab defense ministers in Sicily.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni summed up her trip to the United States, in which she met President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Referring to the invitation to Hamas issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Olmert said, In my opinion, the Russian stance is mistaken, I've made that clear and I'll continue to make that clear. The view of the international community was also unequivocal on this issue.
Olmert added that he received clear messages from France showing that Paris has not changed its stance and demands of Hamas.