'We won't negotiate with terrorists in disguise'

Netanyahu blasts Hamas-PLO unity, lauds Trump administration for demanding Hamas recognize Israel and disarm itself.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 6:44 PM

ראש הממשלה מגיב
ראש הממשלה מגיב
צילום: לע"מ

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lauded the Trump administration and special White House envoy Jason Greenblatt Thursday, after Greenblatt said the US expects any Palestinian Authority government to recognize Israel and to disarm terrorists.

Greenblatt issued the statement Wednesday in response to the recent reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terror organization in Gaza.

The Trump administration, Greenblatt emphasized, expects the new PA-Hamas unity government to recognize Israel and disarm terrorists, as well as adhere to all other agreements and obligations accepted by the PA in past negotiations with Israel and the Middle East Quartet consisting of the US, United Nations, European Union, and Russia.

"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."

During a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of World War I Jewish underground pro-British spy Sarah Aaronsohn, who killed herself after being tortured by the Turks, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised Greenblatt and the Trump administration for their demand that Hamas be held accountable for all agreements made with the PA.

"I would like to commend the statement by the American administration in Washington. I am pleased that President Trump's envoy, Jason Greenblatt, made it very clear that Hamas must be disarmed, Israel must be recognized and previous international decisions must be honored.”

“They made it clear that any Palestinian government needs to be committed to these principles. We want peace; we want a genuine peace and because of this, we will not conduct negotiations with a terrorist organization in diplomatic disguise."

The Hamas terror organization slammed Greenblatt for his statement, accusing the US of “blatantly interfering” with internal PA matters.