Carter Urges West to Support Hamas-Fatah Unity Deal

The former U.S. President writes in an op-ed in the Washington Post that if the international community undermines the Palestinian unity deal, the situation could deteriorate into renewed violence against Israel.

Former United States President Jimmy Carter hailed the Palestinian unity government and called on the international community to also support it as well in an opinion piece published by the Washington Post on Wednesday.

"If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel," Carter wrote in the op-ed. "If they remain aloof or undermine the agreement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel."

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah are meeting in Cairo on Wednesday in order to sign a reconciliation deal that would lead to an interim unity government.

The former U.S. president issued a statement on Friday commending the reconciliation, which he said would "begin the process of reunifying the Palestinian people."

Carter writes in his opinion peace that with international support, the Palestinian reconciliation "could lead to a durable cease-fire" with Israel. He also wrote that he condemned Hamas rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

Israel has rejected the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement, with Netanyahu saying shortly after it was announced that "the Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both. Hamas aspires to destroy Israel and fires rockets at our cities ... at our children."

Carter claimed that Israelis "say that as long as the Palestinians are divided, there is no partner for peace. But at the same time, they refuse to accept a unity government."

The Quartet should work with the new Palestinian government to be able to "jump-start final-status negotiations with Israel," Carter concluded.