EU open to working with Palestinian unity government

BRUSSELS Tue Jun 3, 2014 1:08pm EDT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) meets with ministers of the unity government, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Majdi Mohammed/Pool

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) meets with ministers of the unity government, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Majdi Mohammed/Pool

Related Topics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will work with the new Palestinian unity government, on condition it sticks to the principle of peace with Israel based on a two-state solution, it said on Tuesday.

The U.S. administration has already said it would work with the unity government that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in on Monday under a reconciliation deal with Hamas, an Islamist group that advocates Israel's destruction.

Setting a policy in line with U.S. and EU demands, the Western-backed Palestinian leader said his administration would honor agreements that underlie the stalled peace process with Israel.

"We welcome ... the declaration by President Abbas that this new government is committed to the principle of the two state solution based on the 1967 borders, to the recognition of Israel's legitimate right to exist," the EU said in a statement.

"The EU's engagement with the new Palestinian government will be based on its adherence to these policies and commitments," it said.

Israel renewed its criticism of the unity government.

"Hamas is a ruthless terrorist organization responsible for the murder of countless innocent civilians and an organization that says my country Israel should be destroyed," Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Tuesday.

"People who want peace, people who want reconciliation here in the Middle East should be calling upon the Palestinian leadership to annul this pact with Hamas and to return to peace talks." He did not directly refer to the EU position.

Israel's intelligence minister said the notion that the new cabinet was made up of technocrats rather than politicians - something that made it diplomatically easier for the West to deal with it - was bogus.

"You cannot present it internally as a Hamas government and present it on the outside as a technocrats' government," Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio.

"If these people are identified with Hamas, or are people with whom Hamas identifies and were appointed by Hamas then these are Hamas representatives."

(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Jerusalem; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

FILED UNDER:
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 http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (9)
boycott729 wrote:
I am very happy to see both the EU and US, ignore Bonehead Netinyahoo.
It is about time that spoiled fool be ignored.

Jun 03, 2014 1:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TBellchambers wrote:
Are Netanyahu’s settlements in the Occupied Territories acting as a driver of anti-Semitic violence?

In the wake of the terrorist killings last week in Brussels Jewish Museum, the question is: ‘Are Netanyahu’s illegal settlement policies in the Occupied Territories acting as a driver of anti-Semitic violence in the Diaspora?’

The president of the Belgian League against Antisemitism (LBCA) is quoted as stating that, “After Operation Cast Lead you saw the climax in Jew-hate ..”

The above statement would appear to confirm the long-held suspicion that anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe, is driven by the Israeli government’s aggression against the indigenous Muslim Arabs that legalises the expropriation of their land, the demolition of their homes and the continuous killing of militant Palestinian men, women and children.

Operation Cast Lead was an attack by the IDF in December 2008 against a predominately civilian population in Gaza. It resulted in 1417 Palestinian deaths, of which 926 were civilians many of them children under the age of 16, by Israeli strikes in the densely populated cities of Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah. Another 5303 Palestinians were wounded and 50,800 Gaza residents displaced. Over 4,000 homes were destroyed and around $2bn worth of damage caused by heavily-armed Israeli troops.

A UNHRC Report of 2009 alleged that war crimes had been committed. Notwithstanding this, the British government last year succumbed to pressure from the Israel lobby and amended UK law to make it easier for anyone alleged guilty of war crimes to visit Britain without fear of arrest.

Since then, the Israeli government has continued to demolish Arab houses in the West Bank and East Jerusalem whilst authorising yet more illegal settlements in violation of international law and in contempt of the will of the EU, the US and the United Nations.

The decision of Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, (now sentenced to six years in prison for bribery), to authorise the alleged war crime that killed hundreds of civilians in Gaza, could conceivably lead to the eventual disintegration of the Jewish state – the establishment of which, in the Muslim Middle East, is now increasingly seen as an act of political expediency that has destabilised the region for over half a century and led to the proliferation of undeclared nuclear weapons of mass destruction that are a distinct threat to global peace.

And just a few days ago, a former minister in the Olmert government, (who is now a minister of the Netanyahu administration), was given special immunity from arrest, in London, in connection with alleged war crime charges, and allowed to return to Israel without even being questioned.

_________________________________________________________________________/

Jun 03, 2014 3:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TBellchambers wrote:
Are Netanyahu’s settlements in the Occupied Territories acting as a driver of anti-Semitic violence?

In the wake of the terrorist killings last week in Brussels Jewish Museum, the question is: ‘Are Netanyahu’s illegal settlement policies in the Occupied Territories acting as a driver of anti-Semitic violence in the Diaspora?’

The president of the Belgian League against Antisemitism (LBCA) is quoted as stating that, “After Operation Cast Lead you saw the climax in Jew-hate ..”

The above statement would appear to confirm the long-held suspicion that anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe, is driven by the Israeli government’s aggression against the indigenous Muslim Arabs that legalises the expropriation of their land, the demolition of their homes and the continuous killing of militant Palestinian men, women and children.

Operation Cast Lead was an attack by the IDF in December 2008 against a predominately civilian population in Gaza. It resulted in 1417 Palestinian deaths, of which 926 were civilians many of them children under the age of 16, by Israeli strikes in the densely populated cities of Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah. Another 5303 Palestinians were wounded and 50,800 Gaza residents displaced. Over 4,000 homes were destroyed and around $2bn worth of damage caused by heavily-armed Israeli troops.

A UNHRC Report of 2009 alleged that war crimes had been committed. Notwithstanding this, the British government last year succumbed to pressure from the Israel lobby and amended UK law to make it easier for anyone alleged guilty of war crimes to visit Britain without fear of arrest.

Since then, the Israeli government has continued to demolish Arab houses in the West Bank and East Jerusalem whilst authorising yet more illegal settlements in violation of international law and in contempt of the will of the EU, the US and the United Nations.

The decision of Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, (now sentenced to six years in prison for bribery), to authorise the alleged war crime that killed hundreds of civilians in Gaza, could conceivably lead to the eventual disintegration of the Jewish state – the establishment of which, in the Muslim Middle East, is now increasingly seen as an act of political expediency that has destabilised the region for over half a century and led to the proliferation of undeclared nuclear weapons of mass destruction that are a distinct threat to global peace.

And just a few days ago, a former minister in the Olmert government, (who is now a minister of the Netanyahu administration), was given special immunity from arrest, in London, in connection with alleged war crime charges, and allowed to return to Israel without even being questioned.

_________________________________________________________________________/

Jun 03, 2014 3:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.