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October 18, 2017 10:10 am

Israel: We Will Not Negotiate With Palestinian Government if Hamas Is Involved

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Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar (right) attending a rally with his predecessor Ismail Haniyeh. Photo: File. – The Israeli government announced on Tuesday it would not engage in diplomatic negotiations with the current iteration of a Palestinian unity government, which includes the terror group Hamas.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel will not conduct negotiations as long as Hamas does not recognize Israel, disarm and renounce terrorism, in accordance with the Middle East Quartet principles. The Israeli government called on Hamas to sever ties with Iran, one of its top patrons.

Additionally, for Israel to negotiate, Hamas must return two Israeli civilians currently being held by the terror group as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed during the 2014 Gaza war.

Finally, Israel called on the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is currently controlled by the Fatah party, to exercise full security control in Gaza and continue to act against Hamas’s terror infrastructure in the West Bank.

Last week, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement that would end PA sanctions on Hamas-ruled Gaza and restore a PA-controlled government in the coastal territory by Dec. 1.

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