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UN Chief Welcomes Hamas-Fatah Government

UN Secretary-General expresses hope that new PA unity government will lead to progress in peace negotiations.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 6/3/2014, 11:50 PM

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed on Tuesday the formation of the new Palestinian “unity government” which includes the Hamas terrorist group.

In a statement, Ban expressed hope that new opportunities for progress towards a two-State solution with Israel will emerge soon, saying the UN had received assurances that the Hamas-Fatah deal would be implemented on the basis of previous commitments such as the recognition of Israel and non-violence.

“The United Nations has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity in line with existing resolutions, within the framework of the Palestinian Authority and the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” said a statement issued by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General takes note of the renewed assurances yesterday by President Abbas that the Government will continue to abide by those commitments of recognition of Israel, non-violence and adherence to previous agreements,” added the statement.

“The Secretary-General also notes that the Palestine Liberation Organization will remain responsible for holding peace negotiations with the State of Israel, a commitment President Abbas has reaffirmed, and hopes that new opportunities for progress toward a two-State solution will emerge soon.”

The statement added that the UN stands ready to lend its full support to the new government in its effort to reunite Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in line with the unity deal, under one legitimate Palestinian Authority, including by addressing the serious political, security, humanitarian and economic challenges in Gaza, and holding long overdue elections.

The UN statement joins ones by the European Union and the United States, both of which said they were open to working with the new unity government despite the inclusion of Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he is "deeply troubled" by the United States' decision.

"All those who genuinely seek peace must reject President Abbas' embrace of Hamas, and most especially, I think the United States must make it absolutely clear to the Palestinian president that his pact with Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks Israel's liquidation, is simply unacceptable," he told AP.

American lawmakers on Monday called on the Obama administration to respond to the new unity government by suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of the Shavuot holiday in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)