Abbas and Saudi King in Mecca
Photo: Reuters
Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: Hagai Aharon

PA government must recognize Israel, J'lem official says

First reactions to Palestinian unity agreement include Israeli government spokeswoman demanding Palestinians accept international conditions, Lieberman calling for Israeli unity gov't, gunshots of joy in Gaza

The new Palestinian government must accept international demands that it renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept past peace accords, Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said late Thursday.


She was speaking after a unity government agreement between Fatah and Hamas was announced in Mecca, Saudi Arabia .


"Israel expects a new Palestinian government to respect and accept all three of the international community principles - recognition of Israel, acceptance of all former agreements and renunciation of all terror and violence," Eisin told The Associated Press.


She would not say whether Israel believes the guidelines of the new government fulfill those demands.


The agreement includes:

  • Completely forbidding Palestinian bloodshed and founding all internal Palestinian relations on dialogue.
  • The agreement of a national unity government led by Ismail Haniyeh that would honor past agreements signed by the PLO.
  • Continued efforts for a comprehensive reform of PLO institutes in order to expand factional cooperation in the organization's various institutes.
  • Emphasizing the principle of political cooperation through considering political pluralism and the right of each organization to be represented.


Following the Palestinian unity agreement, Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman called for the establishment of a national unity government in Israel as well, and is set to meet with the Likud, National Union and United Torah Judaism parties' heads next week in an effort to have them join the coalition.


Lieberman explained that Israel should be prepared for any developments in the political and military fields, and should have a wide government, to match an internationally accepted Palestinian government led by a Hamas member.


Shots of joy in Gaza 

The news of the agreements was received with reservation in the Palestinian Authority.

Nonetheless, a few dozen gunmen, mainly from Hamas, fired shots of joy in the air in Gaza.


"We want to believe that this is the real thing and that this agreement wasn’t reached just to get the billions of dollars promised by the Saudis," a sceptic Fatah activist in Jenin told Ynet.


In Gaza, the main battle scene, a more encouraging atmosphere was felt.


Yihya Ibrahim, a resident of Beit Lahiya where the most difficult battles took place, said, "I have seen a lot of people who were happy to get the chance to breath some fresh air, I haven’t left Beit Lahiya for almost a month and I haven’t gone to Gaza (City) where I study, even though it is only a few minutes away."


Ibrahim expressed his hope that the agreement will be honored by the activists on the streets, saying "both parties must guarantee that their operatives will let people live their lives in peace."


Ali Waked and AP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 02.09.07, 00:01
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