UN Security Council Says Hamas-led PA Must Recognize Israel

Council's first statement regarding Palestinian elections also calls for government to renounce violence.

The United Nations Security Council expects any future Palestinian government to commit to non-violence and to recognize Israel, according to a statement released Friday.

Friday's presidential statement is the council's first regarding last week's Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which the militant group Hamas won a convincing majority.

The statement affirms Israel's stance regarding a Hamas-led Palestinian government, which has been echoed by much of the international community. Without mentioning the group by name, it says any Palestinian government must accept three principles: non-violence, the recognition of Israel and the acceptance of previous obligations adopted by the Palestinian Authority under Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, including the international road map.

The Security Council statement notes that "major donors have indicated they will review future assistance to a new Palestinian Authority government against that government's commitment" to the aforementioned principles.

The council had intended to issue the statement the morning after the January 25 election but put it off when Qatar, the sole Arab member of the 15-nation body, objected that the text should be more critical of Israel.

After long debate, Qatar dropped its objections and the statement went out essentially as first drafted, council members said.

The unanimous statement reminded both Israel and the Palestinians of their obligations under the international road map to Middle East peace and stressed the need for the Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorist attacks and "dismantle the infrastructure of terror."

Without mentioning Israel by name, it said settlement expansion on Palestinian territory must stop and reiterated its concern over the planned route of the separation fence between Israel and the West Bank.

The statement also congratulated the Palestinian people "on an electoral process that was free, fair and secure" and commended all parties involved in preparing and conduction the election.

The council welcomed the commitment by Abbas, whose Fatah Party was defeated in the election, to the road map to peace drafted by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia. It also welcomed his commitment to a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict and previous agreements between the two parties.