Netayahu Says Hamas Increasing Control in PA Areas Due to Unity Deal
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that Gaza-based terror group Hamas has increased its power in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority as a result of the terrorist organization’s new unity deal with former rival faction Fatah.
“Over the weekend, the leaders of Hamas reiterated their intention to destroy the State of Israel. Whoever hoped that the Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas would moderate Hamas is mistaken,” he told ministers at his government’s weekly cabinet meeting. “Instead of the Palestinian Authority taking over Gaza, the signs are being more and more seen that the complete opposite is taking place, i.e., that Hamas is increasing its control in the Palestinian Authority areas in Judea and Samaria.”
Netanyahu said “international pressure” must be applied on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve Fatah’s partnership with Hamas. He added that a dissolution of the agreement would be vital for any peace agreement between Israel and Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu also noted that Abbas vowed to uphold his previous commitments to Israel and called for the PA president to follow through on his promise to demilitarize areas controlled by the Palestinian government, now including the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli prime minister also commended the Australian government’s recent decision to stop using the term “occupied” when referring to eastern Jerusalem.
“To say this sharply and with such clarity and, I would say, courage, is refreshing given the chorus of hypocrisy and ignorance, ignorance not only of ancient history, but of recent and current history,” he said. “I certainly appreciate this stand by the Australian government and I am certain that all those who want to see an agreement here based on peace, justice and truth – and it is impossible to build peace based on historic lies – would agree. There is truth and it must be embraced. It requires many, many conclusions and steps, but it certainly does not require the sanctification of lies.”