Katsav, Netanyahu agree on Hamas

If there is one subject that has garnered national consensus, it's that Israel will not negotiate with a Hamas-led Palestinian government, President Moshe Katsav said on Monday at the start of a meeting with Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu. "We cannot negotiate with people who refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist," said Katsav. Netanyahu, who has steadfastly advocated putting a halt to the transfer of Israeli funds to the Palestinians, said that Israel should not make any finances available to them, because such money will be used for incitement and terrorist purposes. "It is absurd for Israel to finance such activities," said Netanyahu. The way to deal with extremists he said was to stop giving them hope that they could achieve any thing they want by resorting to terror. Inferring that Israel's disengagement from Gaza was the outcome of frequent terrorist attacks, Netanyahu said: "We must prevent further withdrawals and relieve Hamas of their fantasy. The destruction of Israel will never happen." The revolution in the Palestinian Authority he said went beyond Hamas' decisive victory in the elections. The Palestinians are moving towards extremism and away from co-existence, he warned.