Israel’s Security Cabinet: No negotiations with gov’t that includes Hamas

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Security Cabinet unanimously decided not to negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes the terrorist organization Hamas.

The Security Cabinet met Monday following the swearing-in of the Palestinian unity government.

“Today, Abu Mazen said yes to terrorism and no to peace,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “This is the direct continuation of Abu Mazen’s policy of refusing peace.

“While Israel has carried out courageous and painful steps on behalf of the diplomatic process and continues to be committed to peace, Abu Mazen has refused to extend the negotiations, has rejected the American framework document, continues to incite against Israel, has unilaterally acceded to UN treaties and has now forged a pact with the Hamas terrorist organization.”

The Security Cabinet also authorized Netanyahu to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, though it did not publicly disclose what the sanctions might be.

The statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said the Security Cabinet voted “to form a team to consider ways of action given the new reality that has been created and ahead of diplomatic and security situations that will be created in the future” and “to act, including in the international arena, against the participation of terrorist organizations in elections.”

The Security Cabinet said it would “hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for all actions that harm the security of Israel which originate in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.”

Israel formally suspended peace negotiations with the Palestinians shortly after Abbas launched unity talks with Hamas.

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