Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sharply criticized the Hamas-Fatah unity pact on Sunday, implying the attempt constitutes an attack on Israeli Jewry.
"Hamas denies the Holocaust in attempts to create another Holocaust," Netanyahu stated, in opening remarks at his weekly cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu also had strong words for Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has made a number of strong statements over the past week suggesting major policy changes as a result of the unity pact.
"Abbas made a pact with Hamas, and we hope he chooses to leave it and return to the path of peace," the Prime Minister began. "Instead of making statements that are designed to appease the international community, he must cease this pact with Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel."
The New York Times revealed earlier Sunday that Abbas was planning to condemn the Holocaust as the "most heinous crime against humanity in the modern era," in an abrupt about-face. The statement surfaces just one day before Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel and stands in sharp contradiction to Abbas's known views.
Abbas is a well-known Holocaust denier, having entitled his dissertation "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.” The dissertation was published as a book in 1984 and is widely taught throughout the PA; it downgrades the number of Holocaust victims to “[possibly] below one million,” and accuses Zionist leaders of encouraging the persecution of Jews.
On Saturday, Abbas alleged that he would demand that Hamas recognize Israel's existence as a condition in its unity pact, and demand that the terror organization renounce terrorism entirely.
“Any government formed would comply with our national agreements . . . to recognize the State of Israel and renounce terror," Abbas said, at a meeting of the PLO Central Command in Ramallah.
Earlier this month, Abbas also condemned the murder of high-ranking Intelligence official Baruch Mizrahi, hy"d, who was killed on Passover eve by Palestinian Arab terrorists.
He later denied the condemnation, alleging he had condemned terror in general but not Mizrahi's murder and that the statement had been "lost in translation."