Security cabinet issues no operative decisions on Fatah-Hamas deal

Israel watches closely how the latest reconciliation effort progresses.

October 16, 2017 22:29
1 minute read.
Netanyahu en route to a security cabinet meeting, August 2017

Prime Minister Netanyahu enters a meeting of the security cabinet, August 2017. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The security cabinet met Monday and discussed the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact but, despite a call by Education Minister Naftali Bennett to sever ties with the PA , issued no statement containing operative decisions.

This was in marked contrast to three years ago, when – following the announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact at the time – the security cabinet met and issued a statement saying it would not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.

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Bennett, a member of the security cabinet, said earlier this week that the Palestinians have formed a terrorist government, and that by joining with Hamas, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has turned the PA into a “terrorist authority.”

“Israel must sever any connection to this terrorist authority,” he said.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the reconciliation agreement, saying that the move makes peace “more distant,” he has stopped short of saying that, as a result of the move, Israel would cut off its ties with the PA .

Amos Yadlin, the head of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, posted a Twitter thread saying that if Hamas does not disband its military wing and accept principles set over a decade ago by the Quartet – that it forswear terrorism, recognize Israel and accept previous agreements – then the agreement is “problematic for Israel.”
One eve of Gaza reconciliation, Hamas frees Fatah men, October 1, 2017. (Reuters)

But, he wrote, because of Israel’s relationship with Egypt and the US, it “should not actively oppose the agreement at this time.” Instead, he advised, “Israel should let it collapse on its own, as all previous agreements have.”

Egypt has played a key role in brokering the deal, and the US has said it hopes the deal created the necessary conditions for the PA to “fully assume its responsibilities in Gaza.”

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