After unity deal, Bennett urges Israel to exact a price from Hamas and PA

Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Bennett calls to focus efforts on the return of Israeli fallen soldiers kept by Hamas in Gaza.

October 17, 2017 19:24
1 minute read.

A hamas militant takes part in a tunnel attack simulation during a graduation ceremony in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, last November. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Bait Yehudi leader and security cabinet member Naftali Bennett welcomed the government’s strategy on refusing to negotiate with the Palestinians following the Hamas-Fatah unity deal in a statement Monday evening.

Earlier Monday, the security cabinet declared several conditions to any future negotiation with the Palestinian Authority.

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Bennet applauded the decision made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that views the Palestinian Authority as a terrorist organization as ‘’any other decision would lead to the legitimization of Hamas, a terrorist group bent on the destruction of Israel.”

Now, said Bennett, is the time to focus efforts on returning the bodies of Israeli soldiers as well as Israelis who are held captive by Hamas in Gaza. Bennet stressed that should the Palestinians refuse to heed Israeli efforts, the Jewish state should extract "costs" from both Hamas and its new partner, the PA. 

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) tweeted that she fully supports the decision and that “the Palestinians can no longer play on both sides of the court, gaining legitimation while teaming up with terrorists.”

Labor MK Amir Peretz, formerly Israel's defense minister, jokingly tweeted his 'congratulations' to the cabinet for "ending a negotiation process that never existed! Bravo!" 

Joint List head Ayman Odeh, who leads the Israeli-Arab faction in the Knesset, ridiculed Netanyahu, tweeting: “The Netanyahu guide to negotiations. When [Palestinians] are not united – No talks. When they are united – No talks.”

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