Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas accord makes peace harder to achieve

PM: 'Hamas are mass murderers, cannot be included in peace deal.' Israel demands Hamas disarm, recognize Jewish state.

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Gary Willig,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded Thursday night to the signing of a reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Arab organizations Fatah and Hamas.

"Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace [with Israel] much harder to achieve," the Prime Minister wrote on his Facebook page following the end of the Simchat Torah holiday.

"Reconciling with mass-murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Say yes to peace and no to joining hands with Hamas," Netanyahu added.

Diplomatic sources Israel would not accept the reconciliation agreement unless certain conditions were fulfilled, most notably the disarming of the Hamas terrorist organization and the acknowledgement of Israel's right to exist by Hamas.

"Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas must include compliance with international agreements, compliance with the Quartet conditions, and first and foremost recognition of Israel," one of the sources said. "The continued digging of tunnels, the manufacturing of missiles and the launching of terrorist activities against Israel [by Hamas] are contrary to the Quartet conditions and the US efforts to renew the political process."

In addition, Israel demands that Hamas release all Israelis it currently holds hostage, including the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, as well as several Israeli civilians.

"Israel insists that the Palestinian Authority not allow any outpost of Hamas terror activities [to operate] from PA territories in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, if the Palestinian Authority is indeed responsible for its territory," the sources added. "Israel will examine developments on the ground and act accordingly."

Under the agreement signed Thursday, the Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a statement from Egypt's government.