Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Condemns Europe on Stance Favoring Fatah-Hamas Unity

Governments that harshly condemn the Brussels murders, 'speak in friendly tones about unity government with Hamas.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/2/2014, 11:22 AM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu castigated European countries for their positive position regarding the unity government between the Fatah and Hamas movements, which is due to be announced later Monday. 

"Islamic terror is raising its head in Europe, and the latest horrible manifestation of this was the abominable murder in the Jewish museum in Brussels," Netanyahu told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset. "And I find it strange that governments in Europe that harshly condemn this murder, also speak with lack of clarity and even in friendly tones about a unity government with Hamas, a terror group that carries out and praises such crimes.

"I think the policy must be against terror, against the partnership of terror groups in the diplomatic process," he stressed, "because this thing does not strengthen peace; it strengthens terror."

Ten days ago, even as Israel suspended the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) after it signed a unity deal with Hamas, the European Union (EU) saw fit to praise the alliance.

"The EU has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind" PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said EU spokesperson Michael Mann, warmly welcoming the PA and Hamas unity deal signed Wednesday.

It is worth noting that Hamas is on the EU's list of terrorist organizations. That listing specifically includes both "Hamas" and "Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem," meaning that both the military and governmental branches of Hamas are recognized as terror groups by the EU.

Nevertheless, the new reconciliation is "an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution," added Mann.

However, a spokesman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton clarified that "the EU's top priority is that the current talks continue beyond April 29," noting the deadline to the nine-month-long peace talks.

According to Mann, the EU is looking "into the details of the (PA-Hamas) agreement and its implementation."