'Hamas Will Increase its Control Over Judea and Samaria'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the Hamas-Fatah "unity" government - and Israel's standing in the international community - on Sunday, opening his weekly Cabinet meeting with a themed address on truth and hypocrisy.
Netanyahu began by condemning the international community's stance on Hamas's role in the new government.
"At the end of the week, Hamas leader declared again their intention to destroy Israel," the Prime Minister stated. "Anyone hoping that the Palestinian Union of Fatah and Hamas will make Hamas more moderate is wrong."
Netanyahu continued with a warning.
"Instead of the Palestinian Authority [PA] taking control in Gaza, there are more and more signs that the exact opposite will happen," he noted. "This means Hamas will increase its control over the PA in Judea and Samaria."
The Prime Minister urged the international community to act.
"There is a need to exert international pressure on [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas to dissolve the partnership with Hamas," he stated. "This touches the roots of the foundation of the conflict and the roots of the solution of achieving peace with the Palestinians."
"In any case, Abbas has pledged to fulfill all obligations of his previous and first commitment is to honor agreements to demilitarize the areas under the authority of the Palestinian government, including, of course, Gaza," he added.
The US and EU have largely predicated its willingness to "work with" the new unity government on the misnomer that the government does not actually include Hamas politicians.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that a 'unity' government would be based on what he called"the four Palestinian principles": recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism.
However, not only has Hamas stated intent to keep engaging in an "armed struggle" against the "Occupation," but both Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives vowed over the weekend to use the new government to "liberate" Israel from the Jews.
Netanyahu also praised the Australian government's landmark decision to stop using the phrase "Occupied" when referring to Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.
"This weekend we also heard an interesting statement from the government of Australia, who said something that we do not always get to hear," he said. "She said simply that East Jerusalem is not occupied, that at the minimum it is a 'disputed area.'"
The PA has already threatened diplomatic repercussions over the move, which signals a significant shift in Australia's Middle-East policy. However, Netanyahu encouraged Canberra not to be discouraged.
"The fact that this statement was said so clearly, so strongly - I would say courageously - is a refreshing chorus against hypocrisy and ignorance, ignorance not only of ancient history but also modern times."
"You cannot build peace on a foundation of refuted historical lies," he continued. "The world has a real need to face this truth."