U.S.: If Hamas Wants Any Role in Palestinian Government, It Must Disarm and Recognize Israel

In first U.S. response to reconciliation agreement, U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt says any government must also accept previous agreements and commit to peace

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Fatah and Hamas officials pose for a photograph after a reconciliation deal is signed in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, October 12, 2017
Fatah and Hamas officials pose for a photograph after a reconciliation deal is signed in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, October 12, 2017 Credit: Nariman El-Mofty/AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy for the peace process, issued on Thursday the first American response to the Palestinian reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah. According to Greenblatt, any Palestinian government must "unambiguously and explicitly" commit to the conditions set by the Quartet: Refraining from violence, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements, including disarming terrorists and committing to peace.

"If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements," Greenblatt wrote.

The U.S. envoy added that all parties agree that it is essential for the Palestinian Authority to assume "full, genuine, and unhindered" security and civil control in the Gaza Strip. It is essential that "we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there," Greenblatt wrote.

Israel's security cabinet decided during a meeting on Tuesday that Israel will not engage in political negotiations with a Palestinian unity government, if such a government is indeed established following the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel would not recognize or accept the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas and will neither try to prevent its implementation nor break off relations with the Palestinian Authority.

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