Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday that Israel will continue withholding Palestinian tax funds, telling his Montenegro counterpart that a Hamas-Fatah unity government "won't see a single dime" unless it accepts the Mideast Quartet's peace proposal.
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FM Lieberman (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
According to a statement released by Lieberman's office, the foreign minister told Montonegro's Milan Rocen in a meeting that Israel will not recognize or negotiate with a Palestinian unity government that does not unambiguously accept the conditions presented in the Quartet's blueprint for the renewal of the peace talks.
The foreign minister noted that Abbas is lobbying global powers to pressure Israel into releasing the funds, "while also working swiftly towards establishing a government with Hamas, which does not accept the international community's demand to cease terrorism and honor contracts that have been signed between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Moreover, it continues to call for the destruction of the state of Israel," Lieberman added. "Israel will not transfer funds to those who are interested in its demise. If Abu Mazen (Abbas) becomes Hamas' partner, then clearly he is not partner in peace."
Meanwhile, European Union Ambassador Andrew Standley urged Israel to release the suspended tax funds, telling reporters in Jerusalem that the measure is within the Jewish state's interests as well.
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