Netanyahu Demands Palestinians Recognize Israel, Disarm Hamas
JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out on Tuesday against efforts by the rival Palestinian factions Fatah and the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas to form a unity government.
Netanyahu’s statements came as Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza for the first time since 2014, with the Fatah-ruled PA and Hamas initiating the first steps in forming joint governance.
“We have a very straightforward attitude toward anyone who wants to effect such a reconciliation: recognize the State of Israel, dismantle Hamas’s military wing, sever the relationship with Iran, which calls for our destruction,” said Netanyahu, speaking from the city of Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview Monday with the Egyptian television station CBC, also demanded the disarming of Hamas. Abbas said would not allow the terror group to keep its weapons and armed brigades if control of Gaza is transferred to the PA under the framework of a unity government.
“All control needs to be in the hands of the PA,” said Abbas. “The organizations in Gaza needs to relinquish their weapons. We want to be one state, with one governing body, with one law, and one military body.”
The Trump administration’s international negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, called on the Palestinians on Monday to recognize Israel and commit to nonviolence, while applauding the Palestinian reconciliation efforts amid the latest round of renewed US-led peace efforts in the region.