Outgoing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in praising the new Palestinian unity government, boasted of the “advanced resistance” capabilities of the military wing of Hamas, a recognized terror organization.
Monday was a “historic day for the Palestinian people,” outgoing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared regarding the swearing in of a new unity government in Ramallah based on the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by both Israel and the United States, as well as Great Britain, the European Union and Japan. Furthermore, Hamas has consistently called for the destruction of the Jewish State.
“Today, there is an army in the figure of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” Haniyeh stated in his farewell speech in Gaza City. “We are leaving the government, but the resistance is advanced.”
Until the very last minute, Hamas refused to join the coalition government on the grounds that it would not have a Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. Fatah finally compromised by agreeing to subsume the ministry under the responsibilities of the new prime minister, Rami Al-Hamdallah, and Hamas joined the government. In so doing, both parties hope for greater solidarity between the West Bank and Gaza.
Israeli Security Cabinet Shuns Palestinian Unity Government
In an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday night, Israel determined that it would suspend all peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority because of its affiliation with Hamas, and that it would reduce the funds it gives to the PA.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently exhorting international leaders to refrain from being quick to recognize the new Palestinian government. He professed to find it strange that European governments who decry the murders at the Brussels Jewish museum can speak “in friendly tones about a unity government with Hamas, a terror group that carries out and praises such crimes.”
Israel’s Security Cabinet on Monday evening unanimously decided:
1. To continue acting in accordance with its decision on April 24 not negotiate with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel;
2. To act, including in the international arena, against the participation of terrorist organizations in elections;
3. To authorize the Prime Minister to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority;
4. To hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for all actions that harm the security of Israel which originate in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip; and
5. To form a team to consider ways of action given the new reality that has been created and ahead of diplomatic and security situations that will be created in the future.
Netanyahu: Fatah Leader ‘Says Yes to Terrorism’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed:
“Today, Abu Mazen [aka Mahmoud Abbas] said yes to terrorism and no to peace. This is the direct continuation of Abu Mazen’s policy of refusing peace. While Israel has carried out courageous and painful steps on behalf of the diplomatic process and continues to be committed to peace, Abu Mazen has refused to extend the negotiations, has rejected the American framework document, continues to incite against Israel, has unilaterally acceded to UN treaties and has now forged a pact with the Hamas terrorist organization.
“Abu Mazen has forged a pact with the Hamas organization, which is responsible for the murder of over 1,000 innocent Israelis and the firing of thousands of missiles at Israeli cities.
“Abu Mazen has forged a pact with Hamas, an organization which has been declared a terrorist organization in the US, Europe, Egypt and throughout the world, and which completely rejects the international community’s conditions. The international community needs to treat it accordingly.
“In recent days, the leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization have reiterated their commitment to the path of terrorism and to the elimination of the State of Israel.
“The agreement with Hamas makes Abu Mazen directly responsible for the terrorism emanating from Gaza.
“The State of Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel.”
Written by: Anne Gordon and Atara Beck, United with Israel