John Kerry
Kerry meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in late March. Photo by AFP
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and said that the U.S. plans on working with the new Palestinian unity government.

The Fatah-Hamas government was sworn in on Monday in Ramallah.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the new government does not include Hamas members and that the U.S. intends to work with the new government.

"Based on what we know now we intend to work with this government but will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles that President Abbas reiterated today," Psaki told a briefing. "But we will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government and calibrate our approach accordingly."

Psaki said that the new Fatah-Hamas government is an interim technocratic government and added that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the new government will respect the terms of the Quartet – recognize Israel, reject terror, and honor previously signed agreements. She said the U.S. will continue to disburse aid to the Palestinian Authority but will monitor its policies. 

Earlier Monday, Israel's security cabinet decided that it will not hold negotiations with the new Palestinian unity government and will oppose Hamas participation in the Palestinian elections if and when they take place.

“Israel will work, including in the international arena, to oppose the participation of terrorist organizations in the elections,” the panel said in a statement issued at the end of its two-and-a-half-hour meeting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel would not allow the Palestinian Authority to conduct elections in East Jerusalem for either its parliamentary or its presidential election, if the Fatah-Hamas unity government indeed leads to such elections being held in another few months, as called for in their reconciliation deal.