European Commission President Barroso
European Commission President BarrosoReuters

A Palestinian unity deal between the PLO and the genocidal Islamist Hamas movement must be supported, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said in Israel on Sunday.

"In the interest of a future peace deal and of a legitimate and representative government, intra-Palestinian reconciliation... should be supported," he told delegates at a security conference in the coastal city of Herzliya.

He said such support should be conditioned on the acceptance of non-violence, a commitment to the two-state solution and a negotiated settlement of the conflict, accepting previous agreements and recognizing Israel.

When the PLO-Hamas reconciliation was announced in late April, the EU urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to return to the negotiating table, saying US efforts to broker peace must not be allowed to "go to waste.”

"Negotiations are the best way forward," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in response to the breakdown a week earlier in months of efforts by Washington to keep the two sides talking.

"The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste," Ashton's statement added. "The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state solution."

Barroso also called on Israel and the Palestinian Arabs to find the "political courage" to take decisive steps "to bet on peace."

"The status quo may seem political safer in the short term but it cannot deliver any long term gains," he said. "Leadership is about making possible what is necessary, and peace is necessary in the region. Security for Israel and a state for the Palestinians are moral imperatives for the international community."