Israel says no to peace talks until Hamas recognizes Israel

Daily News Article   —   Posted on April 29, 2014

(from London’s Daily Telegraph) – Speaking on CNN [Sunday, April 27th,] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the preferable course of action to get peace negotiations back on track would be for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to renounce Hamas , the Islamist movement whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on CNN (4/27/14).

“Either Hamas disavows the destruction of Israel and embraces peace and denounces terror, or president Abbas renounces Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“If one of those things happened, we could get back to the peace negotiations. I hope he renounces Hamas and gets back to the peace table, as I’ve just said. The ball is in his court.”

Netanyahu suspended peace talks with the Palestinians last week after the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas [considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., Israel and Europe] agreed to work together to form a unity government, in a move to end years of bitter political rivalry.

In a speech to PLO leaders on Saturday, Abbas said the new unity government, which is to be formed of political independents, would recognize Israel, reject violence and abide by existing agreements – the demands laid out by the Middle East peacemaking Quartet. [The Quartet is a group of four involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia. The group was established in 2002.]

But a senior Israeli cabinet minister on Sunday ruled out any talks with the new government – even if it accepted the Quartet conditions. “We will not negotiate with a government backed by Hamas, even if it’s a… technocrat government,” economy minister Naftali Bennett said.

“We won’t talk to such a government even if it accepts the Quartet terms because it’s backed by Hamas,” he said. “If Hamas (itself) accepted the Quartet terms, that would be a different story,” he said.

[Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also accused Palestinian Authority President Abbas of engaging in “damage control” by denouncing the Holocaust after agreeing to unite with the Hamas militant group that seeks Israel’s destruction.

“President Abbas has to decide whether he wants a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel,” Netanyahu said on CBS’s Face the Nation program yesterday. “He cannot speak out of both sides of his mouth.” By expressing sympathy for Holocaust victims, “I think what he’s trying to do is damage control,” Netanyahu said of Abbas.

Netanyahu characterized Abbas’s Holocaust statement as an attempt to “smooth over the fact that he made a terrible step away from peace.  You can say nice things … or even significant things about the Holocaust, but you can’t embrace those who embrace the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said.

Abbas had called the Holocaust “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era” during a meeting with a visiting American rabbi, according to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency.

“Tear up your pact with Hamas,” Netanyahu told Abbas, in an interview on CNN yesterday. “Recognize the Jewish state. Come back to a real peace process.”]

…Meanwhile, The PLO’s [Fatah’s]central council on Sunday adopted a plan to pursue attempts to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements, according to a statement from the governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The council, under the auspices of president Mahmud Abbas, “affirms the need for the Palestinian leadership to continue membership of UN agencies and international conventions, under the Palestinian plan that was adopted,” the Palestine People’s Party secretary general Bassam al-Salhi said in a statement.

Seized by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967, the West Bank is now home to hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers, as well as about 1.7 million Palestinians.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. Compiled from a Telegraph news report and Bloomberg News.  May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Daily Telegraph.


The Palestinian Authority is currently ruled by two parties, Fatah and Hamas. Hamas holds the majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament and the office of Prime Minister and rules from the Gaza Strip.  Fatah holds a minority of seats in the Parliament, and the office of President and rules from the West Bank. The U.S., Israel and Europe consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Fatah [affiliated with the PLO - Palestine Liberation Organization] ruled the Palestinian Authority from its establishment in 1994 until 2006. [Yasser Arafat was the head of Fatah until his death in 2004.]  Fatah is a major secular Palestinian political party…. In Palestinian politics it is on the center-left of the spectrum. ….. [Since its loss in 2006 as the ruling party] it has … been described oftentimes in the media as the more “moderate” party, although many dispute this due to its past actions and current policies. (from wikipedia)


  • Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist terrorist organization that currently (since January 2006) forms the majority party of the Palestinian Authority
  • Hamas is known outside the Palestinian territories for its suicide bombings and other attacks directed against Israeli civilians, as well as military and security forces targets.
  • Hamas’ charter…calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip
  • In January 2006, Hamas won a surprise victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.  Many [Palestinians] perceived the preceding Fatah government as corrupt and ineffective.
  • Since Hamas has taken control, the Palestinian territories have experienced a period of sharp internal conflicts, known as Fauda (anarchy), in which many Palestinians have been killed in…fighting [between Hamas supporters and Fatah supporters]. (from wikipedia)

For more information on Hamas, visit the Council on Foreign Relations website

Read about the Palestinian National Authority at wikipedia.