Israeli PM urges clarity from Hamas

PARIS Thu May 5, 2011 3:42pm EDT

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after talks with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (not pictured) at the Elysee Palace in Paris May 5, 2011. REUTERS/John Schults

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after talks with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (not pictured) at the Elysee Palace in Paris May 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/John Schults

Related Topics

PARIS (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday in Paris called on Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas to clarify its position toward Israel before peace talks with Palestinians can resume.

Speaking to journalists after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Netanyahu accused Hamas of wanting a Palestinian state to pursue its aim of destroying Israel rather than living side-by-side in peace.

"The idea is not to establish a Palestinian state to continue the conflict as Hamas wants. The idea is to establish a Palestinian state to end the conflict," Netanyahu said.

"I think clarity is necessary, because in fact, what is being discussed today is to create a Palestinian state in order to improve the positions from which Hamas wants to drive Israel to the sea."

Wednesday in London, Netanyahu condemned a Palestinian unity pact as a "tremendous blow to peace.

The Palestinian Fatah movement, which backs negotiated peace with Israel, and Hamas, whose founding charter calls for the Jewish state's destruction, ended a four-year rift Wednesday by signing a reconciliation agreement in Egypt.

Sarkozy told Netanyahu that the pro-democracy movements sweeping the Arab world presented an opportunity for reviving peace talks, according to a source close to the French presidency.

The source said it remained to be seen how peace talks could be resumed depending on what form the Palestinian government takes and Hamas' role in it. "It's important that all of that is clarified," the source said.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization broke down last year and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been pushing instead to obtain United Nations backing this September for an independent state on all areas Israel occupied in a 1967 war.

Netanyahu criticized such a move, saying that peace "can only happen through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and not through a UN diktat."

Sarkozy told news magazine L'Express in an interview published this week that France would recognize a Palestinian state if peace talks had not resumed by late 2011.

(Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou, Emmanuel Jarry and Nicholas Vinocur; Writing by Leigh Thomas)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (4)
Brazilian1 wrote:
Good definition for Hamms: “Hamas, whose founding charter calls for the Jewish state’s destruction”.

May 05, 2011 4:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
colindale wrote:

“Likud has a Charter which does not recognize the right of Palestine to exist By Frank Barat on Friday, January 30th, 2009 – 991 words. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.” Therefore annihilating the slightest chance of a two-state solution. On Palestinian self-rule it says: “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs” Therefore annihilating any chance of seeing a Palestinian sovereign state.”

May 05, 2011 4:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:
I don’t see Superpower side-kick Israeli’s security concerns are in peril. I do see how Bibi wants to divert the world’s attention to the interminabley-receding “goal” of endless “Peace Process” while Israel Occupiers, often religious zealots, xenophopic,and uber-nationlist merely aspire to honeycomb the West Bank and absorbe it and ultimately annex it as Eretz Israel “Greater Israel”.
This talk by the Likud of a two-state solution is a hoax designed to distract attention and pull the wool over the eyes of the American electorate.

May 05, 2011 5:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus