According to Reuters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday (April 27) to "tear up" his pact with Hamas, saying Israel would not take part in Middle East peace talks with a Palestinian government backed by the Islamist group.
Netanyahu also said Abbas's comments earlier on Sunday denouncing the Holocaust could not be reconciled with his alliance with Hamas.
"President Abbas has to decide whether he wants a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel. He cannot speak out of both sides of his mouth. He cannot embrace Hamas and say that he wants peace with Israel," Netanyahu said on the US television program "Face the Nation," according to a transcript provided by the CBS.
COMMENT: PM Netanyahu could not be more precise in his statement.
Tragically, it seems clear that US Secretary of State John Kerry wants to appease both sides, which has proved to be "Mission Impossible."
Of course, the breakdown of the talks between Israel and Abbas are very likely to potentially prompt a rise in hostilities in Israel which could have an adverse impact on foreign tourism.
Israel suspended US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians on Thursday (April 24) after Abbas announced a unity pact with the rival Palestinian group. Hamas is viewed by the United States, the European Union and Israel as a terrorist organization.
If so, why have the talks even continued? It was my impression that the US did not negotiate with terrorists? Obviously because PM Netanyahu permitted himself to get painted into a corner by Secretary Kerry.
In an appearance on the CNN program "State of the Union," Netanyahu reiterated that Israel would not negotiate with a government backed by Hamas.
Abbas, whose words coincided with Israel's annual remembrance day for those who died in the Holocaust, has condemned the mass killings of Jews in WW2 before and challenged allegations, stemming from a 1983 book he authored, that he is a Holocaust denier.
"President Abbas can't have it both ways. He can't say the Holocaust is terrible but at the same time embrace those who deny the Holocaust and seek to perpetrate another destruction of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said on CNN.