U.S. Denies it Invited PA Prime Minister to Washington
A senior American official denied on Friday that the United States had extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, Rami Hamdallah.
Earlier Friday, a PA official claimed that Hamdallah, who was appointed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday to head the unity government with Hamas, had been invited for an official visit to Washington.
However, the American official, speaking to the Hebrew-language Walla! news website, said that the U.S. has not yet formed a clear policy regarding the Hamas-Fatah unity government, since that government has not yet been officially established.
"Once the government is formally declared, we will examine whether it is a government with which we can maintain a working relationship and decisions accordingly," the senior official said.
A senior U.S. administration official had said last month that the United States would have to reconsider its assistance to PA if Fatah and Hamas form a government together.
Hamdallah, who currently serves as the PA government's prime minister, has been seen by experts as being largely under Abbas's thumb.
The unity government in its inclusion of Hamas and Islamic Jihad constitutes a change in the framework of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the group recognized internationally as representing the "Palestinian people," but which has never rejected terrorism.
There has been friction surrounding the forming of the unity government, given that Abbas has said Hamas won't be part of the "independent government," even as Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of a "unity" government.
(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.)