What the U.S. is requiring from Hamas to join a Palestinian unity government

(JTA) – Any Palestinian government “must unambiguously and explicitly” commit to nonviolence, recognize Israel, and accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the peace process said.

The statement issued Thursday by Jason Greenblatt is the first response by the United States to the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed this week between the Fatah Party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the terrorist Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The Trump administration has been working to jump-start the peace talks, a stated major goal of the administration. [Read more…]

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Israel sets conditions on negotiating with Palestinian unity government

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli government said it will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas unless it meets several conditions, including a halt to the group’s terrorist activities.

The conditions, which were announced Tuesday following a meeting of the Security Cabinet, include recognition of Israel and a halt to all terrorist activities in accordance with the rules set down by the Middle East Quartet; disarming of Hamas’ military infrastructure; and the return of the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers and several civilians being held by Hamas in Gaza. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas reconciliation makes peace harder

(JTA) – Reacting to reports that Hamas and Fatah reached a power-sharing deal, Benjamin Netanyahu said their reconciliation would obstruct peace because of Gaza’s support for terrorism.

The Israeli prime minister wrote about the deal Thursday, after news reports that a breakthrough was reached Thursday during talks between the two Palestinian rival factions in Cairo. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu decries Palestinian unity bid, promises thousands of settlement homes

A view of a portion of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
A view of a portion of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

A view of a portion of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a West Bank settlement that the Palestinians are reconciling “at the expense of our existence.”

He was referring to a meeting Tuesday in the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian Authority cabinet for the first time in three years, part of a reconciliation agreement between the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, which controls Gaza. PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah led the cabinet meeting. [Read more…]

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Abbas aide says Palestinian leader condemns deadly attack near Jerusalem

(JTA) – An aide for Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, said that Abbas opposed the slaying of three Israelis by a terrorist near Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Nabil Abu Rudeinah, Abbas’ chief of staff, told the Voice of Palastine radio station on Thursday of Abbas’ disapproval of the killing, when he was asked about the subject during an interview. [Read more…]

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