The United States on Tuesday rejected Israel’s expressions of disappointment over its statements that Washington was planning to cooperate with the new Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government.
Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, in fact, that the new government does not include any members of the Hamas terrorist group.
"It is not a government backed by Hamas. There are no members of Hamas in the government," Harf told reporters.
She added that the new unity government is a transitional one that is made up of individuals who are not politically associated with any party.
"Hamas is a designated terror organization in the U.S. and we will not provide it with any assistance. We don't have any contacts with Hamas," declared Harf, who added that Washington would judge the government by its actions.
The comments follow a series of angry Israeli reactions to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s statement on Monday that Washington would “work with this government.”
An Israeli official had said following Psaki’s declaration that Israel was "deeply disappointed" by the United States’ readiness to work with the new PA government.
Capping the reactions was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said on Tuesday he is "deeply troubled" by the United States' decision to maintain relations with the new Hamas-Fatah unity government.
"I'm deeply troubled by the announcement that the United States will work with the Palestinian government backed by Hamas," Netanyahu told AP.
"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 added.
The European Union on Tuesday joined those backing the new government, saying it will work with the new unity government, on condition it sticks to the principle of peace with Israel based on a two-state solution.
(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.)