(All articles below summarized by dailyalert.org, Jun. 3, 2014. Click on the title of any article to see the whole article…Ed. )
Abbas Swears In a New Palestinian Unity Government that Includes Hamas – Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner
(dailyalert.org, Jun. 3, 2014)
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority swore in a new unity government on Monday that includes the militant Hamas movement. Hamas is deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S., Europe and much of the West and has refused to recognize Israel or renounce violence.
Secretary of State John Kerry told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone call on Monday that Washington would work with the new Palestinian government while continuing to watch it closely. Dore Gold, a senior adviser to Netanyahu, said afterward that “Israel is deeply disappointed by the U.S. position.” (New York Times)
See also Israel “Deeply Disappointed” U.S. Will Work with New Palestinian Government – Barak Ravid
Senior Israeli officials said Monday: “This Palestinian government is a government backed by Hamas, which is a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction….If the U.S. administration wants to advance peace, it should be calling on Abbas to end his pact with Hamas and return to peace talks with Israel. Instead, it is enabling Abbas to believe that it is acceptable to form a government with a terrorist organization.”
Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer said: “Hamas hasn’t changed. It remains as committed to Israel’s destruction today as it was yesterday. This Palestinian unity government is a government of technocrats backed by terrorists, and should be treated as such. With suits in the front office and terrorists in the back office, it should not be business as usual.” (Ha’aretz)
Congress to Obama: Cut Aid to Palestinians – Julian Pecquet
“The Palestinian leaders know that a unity government would trigger U.S. law to cut off funding, so now they are trying to find loopholes in order to say that they are still abiding by the conditions our law’s mandate,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the author of 2006 legislation that bars taxpayer support for a “Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority.” “The PA deciding to partner with a designated foreign terrorist organization once again reaffirms that Abu Mazen is not a true partner for peace and the U.S. must respond by withholding assistance to any Hamas backed unity government.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the decision “places in jeopardy the millions of dollars in foreign assistance,” while Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) called it a “deeply disturbing step away from the pursuit of peace.” Rep. Kay Granger, (R-Texas), chairwoman of the House Appropriations panel that controls the purse strings for State Department and Foreign Operations funding, said, “Funding for the Palestinians is off the table until it is clear that the unity government is committed to peace and security.” (Al-Monitor)
See also Senators Kirk, Rubio Call on Administration to Halt U.S. Aid to Palestinian Authority (eNews Park Forest)
West Will Continue to Fund Fatah-Hamas Government – Yitzhak Benhorin (Ynet News)
The U.S. State Department announcedMonday that it planned to continue disbursing aid to Palestinians, after President Abbas swore in a new unity government which incorporated Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.
Separately, the EU’s top envoy to the U.S. said Europe was prepared to work with a government backed by Hamas.
Why the Palestinian Unity Government Won’t Cut It for Israel– Christa Case Bryant (Christian Science Monitor)
Israel has long rejected any government that included Hamas, whose founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel.
“Enough with the tricks,” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday. “How can we or the world recognize and cooperate with the [Palestinian] government that has in its possession, through Hamas, 12,000… missiles.”
- U.S. Jewish Groups Cast PA Unity Government as Rejection of Peace – Rebecca Shimoni Stoil
- News of a Hamas-Fatah unity government was greeted with dismay by many American Jewish and pro-Israel organizations Monday. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said: “United States law prohibits funding to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates. We, therefore, support the calls by members of Congress from both parties to review U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority and to assure that the law is appropriately implemented.”
- Similarly, AIPAC said: “U.S. law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence. We now urge Congress to conduct a thorough review of continued U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the law is completely followed and implemented.” (Times of Israel)