Netanyahu: Abbas must choose, peace with Israel or reconciliation with Hamas

Comments come in response to reports of Fatah-Hamas unity; Liberman: Abbas would be signing the end of Israel-PA negotiations.

April 23, 2014 10:51
2 minute read.
Austrian FM Kurz with PM Netanyahu

Austrian FM Kurz with PM Netanyahu. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief



Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas needs to choose whether he wants peace with Israel or Hamas, because he cannot have both, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

Netanyahu, at the outset of a meeting in his office with visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, said that instead of moving peace forward with Israel, Abbas is moving toward reconciliation with Hamas.
"He must choose," Netanyahu said. "Does he want reconciliation with Hamas, or peace with Israel? Only one is attainable, not both. I hope he chooses peace, until now he has not done so."

Regarding efforts to negotiate a continuation of the diplomatic talks with the Palestinians beyond their April 29 deadline, Netanyahu said that every time the sides get close, Abbas adds new conditions "knowing that Israel cannot accept them."

On Tuesday, during a meeting with Israeli journalists, Abbas laid out his three conditions for continuing talks with Israel: that Israel release the fourth batch of Palestinian security prisoners, including Israeli-Arabs, and that none of them be deported; that Israel freeze all settlement construction; and that the first three months of the extended talks deal with the borders of a future Palestinian state.

Israel has rejected those conditions.

The prime minister's comments came amid reports that Abbas's Fatah movement had agreed to form a unity government with Hamas within five weeks

Shortly after Netanyahu's meeting, several government officials responded to reports of a potential Fatah-Hamas unity government.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said a Fatah-Hamas union would create a "terror government."

"Hamas will keep murdering Jews and Abbas will keep wanting prisoner releases," Bennett said. "Whoever thought of Abbas as a partner should rethink that idea."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman responded by saying saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas needs to decide whether he wants peace with Hamas or with Israel.

Liberman said it would be impossible for Fatah to have peace with Israel while simultaneously being joined with Hamas, a terror organization whose mission is to destroy Israel.

"If Abbas signs a unity government agreement with Hamas, he is signing the end of negotiations between Israel and the PA."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN