Jordan's King backs Fatah-Hamas deal

Jordan's King Abdullah II says Fatah-Hamas reconciliation will help in pushing forward Israel-PA peace talks.

Elad Benari ,

King Abdullah II and Abbas
King Abdullah II and Abbas

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday met Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and endorsed the reconciliation agreement between Abbas's Fatah movement and longtime rival Hamas.

The palace in Amman said that the king "affirmed Jordan's full support for this agreement" which it said would strengthen Palestinian unity, according to The Associated Press.

The King also said the reconciliation agreement is an “important step” in pushing forward the peace process and re-launching serious and effective negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis on the basis of the two-state solution, reported the Jordanian news agency Petra.

Jordan was not directly involved in reconciliation efforts which were mediated by Egypt.

Under the reconciliation agreement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is to resume full control of Hamas-controlled Gaza by December 1.

Israel rejected the unity agreement due to the involvement of Hamas, an internationally recognized terror organization. Last week, the Israeli Cabinet made clear that it would not negotiate with the new Palestinian unity government until Hamas recognizes Israel, disarms, and severs its ties with Iran.

Jason Greenblatt, the U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations, praised the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation efforts but also stressed that “any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and peaceful negotiations."

Hamas later blasted Greenblatt's statement, accusing the United States of "blatantly interfering in matters that belong only to the Palestinian people. We have the right to choose a government that is suitable for the Palestinians."