We Will Not Negotiate With Palestinian Government if Hamas Is Involved

Pauline Gross
October 19, 2017

Following long discussions and sharp disputes over the stance towards the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, the Israeli cabinet announced on Tuesday its rejection to negotiate with a Palestinian government "dependent on Hamas", which Israel describes as "a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction" of the country. Notices were posted saying the companies were to be closed for six months. These included 31 housing units in Hebron, marking the first time in 15 years that Israeli construction has been approved in the flashpoint West Bank city. The IDF stated that during the raid, two wanted persons suspected of incitement were arrested. The Palestinian Authority (PA) said it condemned the raids "in the strongest terms".

Hamas on Wednesday slammed an Israeli Cabinet decision to refuse to conduct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority if the Gaza terror group was part of the PA government.

He said the measures were a "clear challenge to the worldwide efforts, especially the American efforts, to seek an opportunity for compromise and lay the foundations for peace and security with the agreement of all sides". Furthermore, documents and equipment were confiscated from communication companies that provide services to channels such as Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds, both of which were determined to be unlawful associations by the head of Central Command. An official with Palmedia told AFP that three of its five offices in the West Bank were closed, including its headquarters in Ramallah as well as in Hebron and Nablus. Hamas and Fatah have had prior unity agreements before that did little to ease tensions between the two groups.

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In a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, the government called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel and disarm Hamas.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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