America's Pitiful Response
Senior ministers and sources in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office are reportedly furious at the American administration, for "not reacting with proper force" to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas unity deal on Wednesday.
The sources reveal that Israel is demanding that Washington DC declare the reconciliation between the two as not legitimate, according to Yisrael Hayom. Netanyahu has reportedly discussed the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Four times (PA Chairman) Mahmoud Abbas refused to advance the talks in recent weeks," a diplomatic source said. "He refused the American paper (framework deal), he refused to recognize the Jewish state, he refused a meeting with (US President) Barack Obama, and refused to receive the prisoner (release) deal and going to the UN institutions."
The source noted that "in every case Abbas was not rebuked, and the result was that he went to Hamas."
"It's clear that assertiveness is needed from the US to prevent the talks from collapsing. There's anger against the Americans, because they needed to make a firm statement telling Abbas not to make a deal with Hamas and instead to make a deal with Israel," the source added.
Instead, the source stated that American statements against the PA's move have been "feeble."
An additional source told Arutz Sheva on Thursday that those in Netanyahu's office were surprised by the weak US response to the deal, saying "the US always promises to defend Israel and keep its security."
"Abbas chose to sign an agreement with a murderous terror organization that acts against men, women and children, and yearns to harm all citizens of Israel regardless of who they are - it's very strange to get a response like that from this great friend of Israel," said the source.
The extent of the US State Department's criticism of the PA deal was a statement by spokesperson Jen Psaki on Wednesday, saying "it's hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist."
Psaki then backtracked to an extent on Thursday after the talks were suspended by Israel in response, when she equivocated by saying "there have been unhelpful steps from both sides throughout this process, whether it’s settlements or the UN or whatever it may be. So they are both – they have both been guilty of that."
Kerry likewise did not focus criticism on the PA for joining with the terrorist organization Hamas on Thursday, instead calling for "compromises" from both sides. In the past he has blamed Israel for the collapse of talks after the PA breached conditions by applying to 15 international conventions.
For its part, the European Union (EU) openly welcomed the PA-Hamas unity deal, despite Hamas being on the EU's official list of terrorist organizations.