Commenting on the recent reconciliation talks between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, said that any Palestinian government must accept the Quartet principles and “commit to nonviolence” in an official statement released Monday on Twitter.
“The United States stresses that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence recognition of the state of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and peaceful negotiations,” Greenblatt wrote.
In slightly different terms, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed Greenblatt’s sentiments. “We expect anyone talking about a peace process to recognize Israel and, of course, recognize a Jewish state, we won’t accept faux reconciliations in which the Palestinian side reconciles at the expense of our existence,” the prime minister said.
He added, “We have a very straightforward attitude toward anyone who wants to effect such a reconciliation: Recognize the State of Israel, dismantle Hamas’s military wing, sever the relationship with Iran, which calls for our destruction.”
Netanyahu’s explicit demand to dismantle Hamas’s military capabilities addresses a concern that a reconciliation between the PA and Hamas could result in the PA taking over the civilian institutions of government in Gaza but allowing Hamas to maintain its terror infrastructure. Some have alluded to a still-armed Hamas operating in Gaza alongside a PA civilian government as the “Hezbollah model,” referring to the Lebanese terror group and Iranian proxy, that refused to comply with UN demands to disarm and submit to the authority of Lebanon’s government.
In a press briefing with reporters hosted by The Israel Project, Ehud Yaari, an expert on the PA, noted that while Hamas is tired of governing the Gaza Strip, its leaders have been quite clear that “they are of course going to remain a resistance movement” and would “maintain and develop their armed forces.”
Yaari also emphasized that it was very important that Greenblatt mentioned that the PA and Hamas will be held to the Quartet principles which include a rejection of “incitement, and terror,” and acceptance of “the two-State solution, building upon previous agreements and obligations.”
It was a reminder, Yaari said, that “the Quartet maintains its demands” and that “Hamas knows that this is the international community’s position.”
[Photo: CGTN Africa / YouTube]