Photo: Ido Erez
Photo: Ido Erez

Netanyahu: Fatah, Hamas pact moves peace backwards

'I think the pact with Hamas kills peace,' prime minister tells MSNBC, vowing that as long as he's in office, Israel would never negotiate with a terror organization.

Fatah's reconciliation deal with Hamas would move peace backwards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC on Thursday.


"I think the pact with Hamas kills peace. If it moves forward, it means peace moves backward," he said.


Netanyahu speaking to MSNBC

Netanyahu speaking to MSNBC


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Netanyahu's cabinet voted earlier Thursday to suspend peace talks with the Palestinians, and impose new sanctions in response to their decision to form a unity government that includes Hamas.


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He vowed that as long as he was prime minister, Israel would never negotiate a peace treaty with a Palestinian government "backed by a terrorist organization" that calls for Israel's destruction.


The prime minister urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to change his mind about letting Hamas become part of the Palestinian government. But Netanyahu said he believes the plans were in the works for weeks at least.


"He (Abbas) still has the opportunity to reverse the course ... to abandon this pact. I hope he does it," Netanyahu said. "Because if we encounter a Palestinian leadership and a Palestinian government that is ready to pursue genuine peace negotiations, we are going to be there. I am going to be there."


Asked if there was any way he could work with Hamas, Netanyahu said it would immediately have to stop being a terror organization.


He noted that the US, European Union and many other nations consider Hamas a terror organization.


In a statement released by the PMO announcing Israel's decision to suspend peace talks, Netanyahu said the decision to form a Palestinian unity government with Hamas was "the direct continuation of the Palestinians' refusal to advance the negotiations."


"Abu Mazen (PA President Abbas' nickname) has formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to fight and kill Jews. Hamas has fired more than 10,000 missiles and rockets at Israeli territory and has not halted terrorist actions against Israel even for a minute," he said


"Whoever chooses the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace," Netanyahu concluded.


Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 04.24.14, 19:29
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