Israel should begin talks with the Palestinian unity government, according to Israel’s first Arab minister, Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports Minister Raleb Majadele.
“Half of the Palestinian government’s members were Oslo men who have already signed agreements with us. According to the Palestinian constitution, the authorized source for negotiations is the Palestinian president, in this case, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas). He is our partner,” Majadele said.
The minister continued, “Do we want to abandon the agreement because of Hamas members we have a problem with? That won’t contribute to our policies, or strengthen the Israeli government. What shall we say now to the pragmatic Fatah member? You are shunned because you are sharing a government with Hamas?”
Majadele said that there was no diplomatic or political insight in Israel’s choice to refuse to take part in negotiations with the new unity government.
In the meantime, several European countries announced that they would cooperate with a Palestinian unity government, according to government spokesman Dr. Ghazi Hamad Friday.
Hamad said that Abbas informed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the willingness of Britain, France, Germany, and Norway to cooperate with the unity government.
Hamad also said that Haniyeh had held talks with European countries, which he did not name, and that the talks ended positively, hinting at the countries’ intentions to end the embargo on the Palestinian Authority.