Daily Israel Report

Cabinet to Decide in the Morning if 'Peace Talks' are Over

Netanyahu calls John Kerry, says 'whoever makes peace with Hamas cannot make peace with Israel.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/23/2014, 10:43 PM

Netanyahu meets Kerry in Jerusalem on March 31, 2014
Netanyahu meets Kerry in Jerusalem on March 31, 2014
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binymain Netanyahu announced Wednesday evening that he would be convening the inner diplomacy-security cabinet Thursday morning, to discuss the agreement between Fatah and Hamas and whether or not to continue contacts with the Palestinian Authority (PA), reports Maariv-NRG.

Earlier Wednesday evening, Netanyahu called US Secretary of State John Kerry and presented Israel's position regarding the deal. He said that the pact shows that the Palestinians are repeating “a familiar pattern” of “running away from decisions.”

He repeated his public statement to the effect that “whoever makes peace with Hamas cannot make peace with Israel.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who was in charge of negotiations with the PA, called the agreement “a very problematic development that harms the peace efforts that are being conducted intensively and the chance that was only recently formed.”

"Hamas has refused for years to accept the Quartet's conditions that include recognizing Israel, stopping the violence and recognition of the agreements that were signed between Israel and the Palestinians. Given the new situation, Israel needs to examine the meanings and consider its next steps accordingly.”

Earlier in the day, Israel canceled a planned session of 'peace talks' with the PA that was scheduled for Wednesday evening, following the announced Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal.

"Israel cancelled the negotiations meeting that was supposed to take place this evening," Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said on his official Twitter feed.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP, however, that no meeting with the Israelis had been planned for Wednesday.

"Netanyahu stopped the negotiations a long time ago," Erakat said. "He chose the settlements instead of the peace. He is demolishing the peace process."

"The signing of an agreement on a unity government of Fatah and Hamas is also the signing of the end of negotiations between Israel and the PA,” declared Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Likud-Beytenu) Wednesday.

Jewish Home chairman, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, stated that "the agreement joining Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad puts the Middle East in a new era.”  

“The PA has become the largest terror body in the world, just 20 minutes from Tel Aviv," he added. "Just as the US does not talk to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda, Israel has to state clearly: no talks with terrorists.”