Egypt invites Palestinian leaders to sign unity agreement in Cairo next week; FM Lieberman says international community should not legitimize a government that includes Hamas.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Friday on world countries not to recognize the Palestinian government to be set up after the Islamist Hamas and the mainstream Fatah movements announced a reconciliation deal.
“The international community must not legitimize the government whose face is the face of (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and whose arms are the arms of Hamas, who launches missiles at citizens and stains innocents with blood,” he told Cypriot President Emetris Christofias during a meeting in Nicosia, according to a statement issued by his office after the meeting.
|Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman|
|Photo by: Emil Salman|
Representatives from Hamas and Fatah announced in Cairo on Wednesday night their intention to reconcile, after a four-year-long bitter and at times violent rift, which saw Hamas administering the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the control of the Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian officials said on Friday that Egypt has invited Palestinian leaders to Cairo next week for the signing of the reconciliation agreement.
The invitation from Egypt, received by factional leaders in the Gaza Strip, said the three-day ceremony will start May 2 and end with the official signing by Abbas and Damascus-based Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshaal.
There was no immediate comment from Egyptian officials.
The agreement, if implemented, will see the Hamas government in Gaza, and the West Bank government headed by Salam Fayyad, replaced by an interim unity government consisting of “professional” figures, which will prepare for Palestinian elections.
Israel has said it will not negotiate with the new government unless Hamas accepts the demands of the so-called Quartet of the U.S., the EU, Russia and the UN, to renounce violence, honor past Israeli-Palestinian agreements, and accept the Jewish state’s right to exist.
Lieberman told Christofias that the “inability” of the international community to obtain one declaration from the UN Security Council condemning Syria for its brutal crackdown on
demonstrators, made Israelis wonder whether the international community could be relied on for “balanced and honest considerations in regards to the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.”
“This feeling is currently being strengthened by the conciliatory approach, in opposition to the Quartet’s decision, taken by some countries towards Hamas – a terror organization whose declared, primary aim is the destruction of Israel,” he said.
President Shimon Peres also commented on the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, telling Israel Radio on Friday morning that, contrary to Palestinian claims, the reconciliation deal foresees Hamas continuing to control the Gaza Strip and the PA the West Bank.
He said that if, in preparation for the Palestinian elections, political platforms call for the destruction of Israel, and continued subservience toward Iran, the results of the poll would be irrelevant.