Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri hugs Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad as they sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came out against the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement signed Thursday in Cairo, saying that “reconciling with a murderous organization that strives to destroy Israel does not bring peace closer, but rather makes it more distant.”
Israel, read a post on the Prime Minister of Israel's Facebook account, “opposes any reconciliation in which the terrorist organization Hamas does not disarm and end its war to destroy Israel.”
Israel also demands that Hamas return the bodies of the IDF solider and two Israeli civilians it is holding.
“There is nothing Israel wants more than peace with all our neighbors,” the post read. “Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace much harder to achieve.”
Netanyahu asked what it means when Fatah reconciles with a terrorist organization that “seeks the annihilation of Israel, advocates genocide, launched thousands of rockets at civilians and digs terror tunnels, murders children, represses minorities, bans LGBT, rejects international obligations, refuses to free Israeli civilians it holds hostage, refuses to return the bodies of Israeli soldiers to grieving mothers and fathers, tortures opposition, mourns [Osama] Bin Laden's death.”
The post continued: “Reconciling with mass-murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Say yes to peace and no to joining hands with Hamas.”
MK Tzipi Livni called the reconciliation talks in Cairo "an opportunity for change," but also called on Hamas to disarm.
"Egypt's involvement and the entry of the PA into Gaza is an opportunity for change, but as long as Hamas remains an armed terrorist organization, Palestinian reconciliation is a legitimacy for Hamas and terrorism rather than a takeover [by the PA].
She added: "Israel must act in such a way that the world will not accept the Hezbollah model in Lebanon — a nice foreign government and an armed organization that continues terror."
Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz reiterated Netanyahu's and Livni's concerns about the agreement, warning the PA against letting Hamas dictate the terms.
"Israel and the international community should insist that the Palestinian unity government accept the conditions of the Quartet and Security Council Resolution 1850: recognition of Israel, a commitment to the two-state solution, and the cessation of terror and incitement," a statement from Peretz's office read.
The head of the PLO General Delegation to the United States, Dr. Husam Zomlot, thanked US President Donald Trump for "encouraging" the reconciliation talks in Cairo, and reaffirmed what he called PA President Mahmoud Abbas' commitment to achieving a "just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East."
Just prior to Netanyahu's Facebook post, the Prime Minister's Office issued a somewhat milder reaction to the reconciliation, saying in a statement that it must comply with international agreement and the Quartet's conditions, which also include recognizing Israel and a forswearing of terrorism.
“The continued digging of tunnels, the manufacture of missiles and the initiation of terror attacks against Israel are contrary to the Quartet's conditions and the US efforts to renew the political process,” the statement read.
According to this statement, as long as Hamas does not disarm and continues to call for Israel's destruction, Jerusalem will consider it responsible for all terrorist acts originating in Gaza. In addition, the statement said that Israel “insists that the PA not allow any base whatsoever for Hamas terrorist actions from PA areas in Judea and Samaria or from Gaza, if the PA indeed takes responsibility for its territory.”
Israel will monitor the developments on the ground and act accordingly, the statement read.