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Lapid Says 'Don't Criticize' Hamas Unity Government

Yesh Atid leader says not to give Hamas 'opportunity to spark the fire back against us' so as 'to make headlines.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/2/2014, 3:01 PM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

At a Yesh Atid party meeting on Monday, party chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid spoke about the establishment of the joint Fatah and Hamas unity government earlier in the day.

"In the coming weeks we will need to learn about this government and decide where we're going," stated Lapid.

According to Lapid, Hamas should not be criticized so as to avoid a response from the terrorist organization.

"It's not the time for criticism but rather careful consideration," said the minister. "I propose to my friends not to provide Hamas with the opportunity to spark the fire back against us, just so as to make headlines in the Israeli political sphere."

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) apparently did not share Lapid's wariness of condemning the unity deal with Hamas.

Danon released a statement Monday declaring "all aid given to the Palestinians by the United States and other countries directly aids terror attacks against the state of Israel."

Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) likewise criticized the new "terror government," stating "I expect the government of Israel to give a clear Zionist answer, and immediately market and build the thousands of apartments that have been frozen till now."

While US Secretary of State John Kerry "expressed concern" to Abbas by phone on Sunday, a US official merely said "the United States informed Israel that it will not support the unity government immediately after it is sworn in."