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Arab League Backs Hamas-Fatah Unity Pact

Arab League chief says Hamas-Fatah pact will assist Abbas "in facing all the pressures applied on him by Israel."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/25/2014, 3:13 AM

Nabil Al-Arabi
Nabil Al-Arabi
Reuters

The Arab League has welcomed the unity pact that was reached between the Hamas and Fatah factions, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

An Arab League statement quoted its Secretary-General, Nabil al-Arabi, as telling Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Abbas in a phone conversation that the pan-Arab body welcomes the agreement.

"This achievement [the agreement] will boost the Palestinian unity in the face of the serious challenges that face the Palestinian cause at this critical juncture," the statement quoted al-Arabi as telling Abbas in the conversation.

He further said, according to AFP, that the Arab League "fully supports Palestinian president Abbas in facing all the pressures applied on him by Israel."

Israel responded to the Hamas-Fatah pact on Thursday by officially suspending the peace talks with the PA ahead of their April 29 deadline.

Further, it was decided to implement various sanctions on the PA, such as financial sanctions, and the cutting of diplomatic contact including that of the peace talks.

After the announcement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave interviews to foreign media outlets and stated that he will not negotiate with the PA as long as it remains in a unity government with Hamas.

“As long as I'm prime minister of Israel, I will never negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas terrorists that are calling for our liquidation,” Netanyahu told the BBC.

Meanwhile, the PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, blamed Israel for the failure of the peace talks.

"Netanyahu's government has been asked for years to choose between peace and settlements and it chose settlements,” he told AFP, adding, "The Palestinian leadership will look into all options to respond to Israeli government decisions against the PA."