On a visit to Greece this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said that “especially in a week like this, when we in Israel commemorate Memorial Day, we must stand strong on ensuring our security interests. We will not allow the blood of our soldiers to have been shed in vain.”
Elkin met top Greek officials and discussed the recent indefinite suspension of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel, he told his hosts, had done everything it could and had gone as far as it dare in conceding to the insatiable demands of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas. But any hope Israel had to eke out a deal were dashed when Abbas signed a deal with Hamas.
“The claim that the PA still accepts the conditions of the US and Europe, the Quartet countries, and that Hamas will not change that, is unacceptable,” he said. “We cannot ignore the fact that Hamas is a terror group, and is considered such by the European Union as well.” According to EU law, it is illegal to trade with or support Hamas, which is considered a terror organization. Greece currently heads the Presidency of the EU.
Besides the deal with Hamas, Elkin said, Abbas “bolted from previous agreements and undertook unilateral steps, applying for recognition at UN organizations. And that was just a week before his embracing of Hamas. With that, Abbas has shown his true colors, and his intention to use the negotiations not as an opportunity to end the conflict, but as a tactic to weaken Israel and put it in a position that would allow him to totally destroy it later on.”
Elkin also appeared before the Greek Parliament's security and defense committee and discussed Israel's positions and its friendship with Greece.