Likud minister: Palestinian agreement comes at Israel's expense

Israel's Public Security Minister casts doubt on PA-Hamas agreement, says it may harm Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan
Flash 90

Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) spoke on Friday morning about the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.

"Israel's response to the agreement was reasonable," Erdan told Channel 2. "It's true, Egypt and the US were involved in the process, so definitely need to examine the results. But on the other hand, we don't lose our innocence."

"This is something that's been in the works for many years. This time, both sides have an interest, because they are both weak. Hamas is weak on the civilian front: Gaza is on the verge of collapse, and Hamas is not managing to provide their citizens with what they need. They need someone to pull them out of the mud. The PA also needs to regain control. But we're not naive.

"We know that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is still paying terrorists' salaries, and we don't see that Hamas is about to drop its weapons. So we will continue to observe. If Israel benefits from this agreement, that's great. But right now I don't see that happening."

Erdan also expressed skepticism about the agreement's success.

"Right now, it looks like an attempt to create false successes for Hamas and the PA," he said. "It doesn't do anything good for Israel, and maybe it's even at Israel's expense, because it makes it harder to say that Gaza is ruled by a terror organization. But we will look at what really happens, and if [the ruling party in Gaza] continues to be a terror organization, then that's how we will treat both the agreement and the area."

Erdan's words echo Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Facebook post.

In the Thursday night post, Netanyahu wrote that "reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace [with Israel] much harder to achieve. 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."