Netanyahu and Greenblatt
Netanyahu and GreenblattMati Shtern, US Embassy, Tel Aviv

US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Wednesday issued a statement regarding the Palestinian Authority's (PA) recent reconciliation agreement with the Hamas terror group.

"All parties agree that it is essential that the Palestinian Authority be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza and that we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there," Greenblatt said.

"The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations.

"If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) said, "I thank Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt and the US government for their clear message: A Palestinian government must disarm all terror organizations and recognize the State of Israel."

"I emphasize our government's stance: The State of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government dependent on the Hamas terror organization, until Hamas disarms, recognizes Israel, and returns to Israel captured citizens and the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers."

Israel's Diplomatic-Security Cabinet on Tuesday decided that it will not negotiate with a PA-Hamas unity government should it be established, and will not maintain contact with a PA government which rests on Hamas support.

In an announcement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, a number of Israeli conditions necessary for negotiations with a PA resting on Hamas were outlined, including adherence to the Quartet conditions.

Additional conditions included the return of soldiers’ bodies and civilians being held in Gaza to Israel, complete security control of the PA over Gaza, and the prevention of smuggling and Hamas terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

The cabinet also demanded that Hamas cut ties with Iran, and announced that it will allow the flow of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza only through the PA and the bodies established for this purpose.