Israel and the United States agreed to boycott the new Palestinian Authority coalition government unless it accepts international peacemaking conditions. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that the recent “unity” deal between the ruling Palestinian Authority faction Hamas and its more moderate rival Fatah could not be accepted if the new government insists on continuing to flout demands by mediator nations that it recognize the Jewish state, renounce terrorism and accept past peace deals. “A Palestinian government that does not accept the Quartetâ€™s conditions cannot receive recognition, and there will be no cooperation with it,” Olmert said in broadcast remarks to his Cabinet, referring to the diplomatic group including the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union. “I spoke about this on Friday with the president of the United States, and I can tell you that the Israeli and American positions are totally identical.” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struck a more conciliatory note. “We would like to continue cooperation with Abu Mazen as we think he is an important figure in moving towards the presidentâ€™s vision of two states,” she said, using Abbasâ€™ nickname.
Olmert, Bush close ranks on P.A.