abbas netanyahu - AP - September 15 2010
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Jerusalem, September 15, 2010. Photo by AP
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized on Monday the agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah, according to which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will head a unity caretaker cabinet.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel and is supported by Iran," Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting. "Israel had made great efforts to advance the peace process. If Abbas realizes what was signed in Doha it shows that he is choosing to abandon the path of peace and join with Hamas, without Hamas accepting the minimal conditions of the international community."

Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshal said in a joint announcement on Monday that the unity cabinet could pave the way for a long-sought-after reconciliation between the rival factions.

"We are serious, both Fatah and Hamas, in healing the wounds and ending the chapter of division and reinforcing and accomplishing reconciliation," Meshal said in remarks televised live by Al Jazeera from Qatar.

Abbas, head of the secular Fatah organization, promised that this effort will be implemented in the shortest time possible.

A Palestinian source speaking with Haaretz indicted that both parties were considering the option of naming Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as Abbas' deputies.

The Doha Agreement stipulates that the unity caretaker government will be comprised of non-affiliated technocrats, and its mission will be to start Gaza's rehabilitation and to prepare for a general Palestinian election for both president and parliament.