Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO

Netanyahu: Israel to refuse talks if Hamas joins PA

PM declares Israel will not renew peace negations if terror group joins Palestinian government. 'I will not allow a Palestinian state to turn into Gaza, Lebanon,' he states

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday that if Hamas joins the Palestinian government, Israel will not enter into negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.


"I will not allow a Palestinian state to turn into...Gaza and Lebanon," he said, referring to Hamas and Hezbollah's missile arsenals.


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"The Palestinians will have to recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. This precondition is non-negotiable," said Netanyahu during a conference for Israeli ambassadors at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.


אבו מאזן ומשעל בפגישתם בקהיר. "לא מוכן שפלסטין תהפוך לעזה" (צילום: רויטרס)

Mashaal (L) meets Abbas in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)


"We are willing to meet with the Palestinians anytime and anywhere," added Netanyahu, but clarified that the peace process could only advance if security arrangements are kept. 


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo last week for a preliminary discussion ahead of their official meeting.


The two discussed the conclusions drawn during the meetings held over the past few days between Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions over the implementation of their reconciliation pact.


Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh left the Gaza Strip on Sunday for a visit in Egypt and Sudan, his office said. This is the first time Haniyeh has left Gaza since Hamas rose power there in June 2007.


Hamas sources said that Haniyeh crossed the Egyptian border via the Rafah crossing in the early morning hours, and that he is also expected to visit Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia and Bahrain.


Elior Levy and AFP contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 12.25.11, 22:16
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