The political constellation was divided between right and left regarding the announcement by Israel that it was suspending peace talks with the Palestinians, in the wake of the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas.
Among the supporters was coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu), who called the decision by the cabinet to suspend “the talk with the gang belonging to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas a necessary and right move."
"Now that the true face of the Palestinians has been revealed, it would be right for the left to support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and present a united front against the evolving Palestinian terror front," added Levin.
After a a six-hour security cabinet meeting on Thursday, ministers decided to suspend the talks with the PA less than a week shy of the April 29 deadline for the end of the talks. The government also decided to impose various sanctions on the PA, such as financial sanctions, and the cutting of diplomatic contact altogether.
Levin called on the government to impose Israeli sovereignty on Area C, which according to the Oslo Accords is under Israeli civilian and security control. “Sanctions against the Palestinians should not be our only response,” Levin said. “We should also be strengthening Israel, and that includes annexing Area C.”
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) also praised the cabinet decision, saying that it was a “correct and healthy” decision that will ensure the safety of Israel. “The PA has chosen terror instead of peace, and I congratulate the Prime Minister and the ministers for this decision.”
Leftist opposition to talk suspension
Leftist parties, as widely expected, slammed the decision. Meretz head MK Zehava Galon said that stopping the negotiations shows the true face, as MK Levin stated, not of the PA, but of the government.
“Instead of seeing this agreement as an opportunity, we punish Abbas, and give a prize to Hamas” which seeks to pull the PA away from talks with Israel, claimed Galon.
“We also see the true faces of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who have been justifying their places in this fanatical government, but turned out to be supporters of the far right settler coalition of Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman,” said Galon. “All they are interested in is their cabinet posts.”
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said that the Fatah-Hamas deal had been the last chance for progress in the peace talks.
“This was the best opportunity for the two-state solution. All that is left is to wish 'Mazal Tov' to Jewish Home, which has received its wish – a single binational state," said Rozin. "It is time that Israelis realized that as long as the right is in power, we will always be at war.”