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Netanyahu Slams Unity Gov't, Says 'Abbas said 'Yes' to Terror'

Official Israeli response rejects negotiating with terrorists; Cabinet debating imposing more sanctions on the PA after unity declaration.
By Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 6/2/2014, 6:49 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has released an official Israeli response to the swearing-in of the Palestinian Arab "unity" government Monday, after he declared an emergency Cabinet meeting with top ministers to discuss the issue. 

Both Netanyahu and the ministers agreed not to engage politically with the new government, as part of the policy not to negotiate with terrorists. Several ministers encouraged Netanyahu to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of the move, noting that both Fatah and Hamas are responsible for encouraging terror attacks against Israel and that the sanctions would press the point that Israel will not tolerate the justification of a Palestinian Arab government run by terrorists - whether the international community approves or not. 

"[PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas said 'yes' to terror, not peace," Netanyahu stated, at the end of the meeting. "It is the direct continuation of Abbas's policy to refuse peace, while Israel has made courageous and painful steps for the political process and remains committed to peace."

"Abbas refused to extend the negotiating framework via the US's proposal, continues to incite against Israel, joined international agencies in a set of unilateral moves, and now has formed an alliance with the Hamas terrorist organization - which is responsible for the murder of more than a thousand innocent Israelis, and has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns," he continued.

The Prime Minister reiterated that Hamas was declared a terrorist organization in the US, Europe, Egypt and around the world.

"In the past several days, Hamas leaders have reiterated their commitment to terrorism and the destruction of Israel," he said. "The agreement with Hamas transfers to Abbas direct responsibility for terrorism from Gaza." 

Accordingly, the official Cabinet decision released included the following edicts: 

1. To continue acting in accordance with its 24 April 2014 decision and to not negotiate with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel;

2. To act, including in the international arena, against the participation of terrorist organizations in elections;

3. To authorize the Prime Minister to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority;

4. To hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for all actions that harm the security of Israel which originate in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip; and

5. To form a team to consider ways of action given the new reality that has been created and ahead of diplomatic and security situations that will be created in the future.