Israel threatens to cut ties with Abbas

Sunday, February 11, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Israel is threatening to cut its ties with the Palestinian Authority if its unity government is based solely on conditions discussed in Mecca and does not include three conditions of the Quartet, one being the recognition of Israel.

In an interview with Army Radio Sunday morning, opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu agreed with this position.

“Hamas has not moved in the direction of Abbas,” Netanyahu said. “Rather, he has moved in the direction of Hamas. If he gives legitimacy to Hamas, then that's bad; if we give legitimacy to Hamas, then that’s even worse.”

A Jerusalem official said that the national unity plans could jeopardize a meeting between Israel, the Palestinians and the US scheduled for next week.

Senior Israeli officials said Abbas' agreement to and appointment of a new government does not accept the three international conditions: Recognizing Israel, accepting previous agreements, and renouncing terrorism.

“What is needed is full recognition of Israel, acceptance of former treaties, and the stopping and renunciation of terror,” one official said.

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