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Haniyeh Urges Abbas Not to Bow to 'External Pressure'

Hamas’s Gaza Prime Minister phones PA Chairman for the first time since unity pact announced.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 4/26/2014, 12:26 AM

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh
Reuters

Hamas’s Gaza Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, on Friday evening telephoned Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

According to the Ma’an news agency, it was the first time the two had spoken directly since the reconciliation pact between Hamas and Fatah was announced earlier this week.

During the phone call, Haniyeh stressed the need to start implementing the reconciliation agreement in accordance with the agreed upon timetable, the report said.

The Hamas leader also called on Abbas to make an effort to provide a political and financial safety net and take steps to enhance mutual confidence between the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

Haniyeh also called on Abbas not to bow to “external pressure”, according to Ma’an.

The unity pact reached between the sides on Wednesday calls for the formation of a government of independent technocrats within five weeks and holding elections six months later.

Israel responded to the pact by suspending peace talks with the PA and imposing new sanctions on it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Abbas could "have peace with Israel or a pact with Hamas but he can't have both."

He said his country could not negotiate with an administration that embraces a terrorist group sworn to Israel's destruction.

"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 foreign media outlets.

Meanwhile, Abbas said on Thursday evening that there was no need for Israel to halt talks and impose sanctions on the PA, because the deal with Hamas does not contradict any previous agreements with Israel, nor does it obviate the basic principles of negotiations.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)