Israel irked by US policy for planning to work with Palestinian unity gov't

Israel irked by US policy for planning to work with Palestinian unity gov't
Tue Jun 3, 2014 19:01:13

Israel says it is “deeply disappointed” in the US due to its plans to work with a national Palestinian unity government formed recently.

In April, the Fatah movement and Hamas signed an agreement to end seven years of rivalry and from a unity government. On Saturday, acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas said that the new government will be formed of “technocrats and independents” and that it will reject violence.

The new cabinet of the Palestinian unity government was sworn in before Abbas on Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The cabinet is led by current Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and has 17 ministers, with at least nine of them newcomers.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that the US believes the new government is “an interim technocratic government,” adding with “what we know now, we will work with this government.”

Washington “will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government and if needed we’ll modify our approach,” she added.

However, Israel was quick to slam Washington’s plans to cooperate with the newly formed government, saying Psaki’s remarks “disappointed” Tel Aviv.

“We are deeply disappointed by the comments of the State Department regarding working with the Palestinian unity government,” The Times of Israel quoted Israeli officials as saying.

“If the US administration wanted to advance peace, it should be calling on Abbas to end his pact with Hamas and return to peace talks with Israel,” they added.

This comes as anonymous members of the US negotiating team who were involved in US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resume the so-called peace talks between Israel and the PA told the Israeli newspaper Ynet last month that a big share of blame for the failure of the talks goes to Tel Aviv for its illegal settlement-building activities.

Also last month, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s annual forum, US special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk, blamed Israel for the collapse of the talks, saying Israel could lose its “Jewish future” if it refuses to freeze its settlement activities.

In April, a Daily Beast report also said Kerry lashed out against Israel’s illegal settlement activities in a closed-door meeting with senior officials from the US, Western Europe, Russia, and Japan and warned that Israel could become “an apartheid state” if the so-called peace talks with the PA would fail.


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