Israel Denies Hamas 'Ministers' Entry to Ramallah for Unity Bash
The IDF has denied three 'future Palestinian ministers' from Hamas-controlled Gaza denied entry to Samaria ahead of unveiling of a new unity government in Ramallah,” Voice of Israel public radio said.
The head of Israel's military administration in Judea and Samaria, Major General Yoav Mordechai, had informed the Palestinian Arabs that the three would not be permitted to cross from Gaza to the “West Bank." Contacted by AFP, the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the defense ministry refused to confirm or deny the report.
Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas said on Saturday that the line-up of a unity government would be announced Monday, following a delay over who would head the foreign ministry.
He also said Israel had informed the Palestinians that it would "boycott the government".
"Israel wants to punish us because we have agreed with Hamas on this government," he said. Gaza's Islamist rulers and the Western-backed Palestine Liberation Organization, which is dominated by Abbas's Fatah party, signed a surprise reconciliation agreement in April to end years of rivalry.
Under the deal, the sides agreed to work to form an "independent government" of technocrats, paving the way for long-delayed elections.
Israel denounced it as a deathblow to peace hopes and said it would not negotiate with any government backed by Hamas, which is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.