Bennett: Security Cooperation With Palestinian Authority Should Continue Despite Fatah-Hamas Unity Deal
JNS.org – Israel’s security coordination with the Palestinian Authority (PA) should continue despite the recent formation of a Palestinian unity government between the PA’s ruling Fatah party and the Gaza-controlling terror group Hamas, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday.
“I totally support all the humanitarian measures in Gaza,” Bennett, a member of the Israeli security cabinet and the leader of the HaBayit HaYehudi party, told Army Radio.
“I support the continuation of security coordination over Judea and Samaria — it’s good for us and good for them (the PA),” he said.
When asked if the security coordination should continue even with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, Bennett said, “As long as it serves the security of Israeli citizens, the answer is yes.”
Although Bennett supported continued security coordination with the Palestinians, he ruled out political negotiations with a Fatah-Hamas unity government.
“These are the bin Ladens of Israel,” Bennett said of Hamas. “This group has killed Israelis. If we don’t draw a red line, how can we expect the world to stand together to fight terror?”
Bennett’s comments came a day after Israel announced it would not engage in diplomatic negotiations with the current Palestinian unity government. The Prime Minister’s Office said Israel will not negotiate as long as Hamas does not recognize Israel, disarm and renounce terrorism, in accordance with the Middle East Quartet principles. The Israeli government also called on Hamas to sever ties with Iran, one of its top patrons.