Diplomacy

U.S. Demands that Hamas Reject Terror, Recognize Israel

In a statement released on Thursday, Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, explicitly stated that Hamas must abide by the Quartet principles as part of any Palestinian unity government.

“The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations,” the statement said.

The office of Greenblatt added that “If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements.”

Israel’s security cabinet meeting on Tuesday established that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian unity government.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, took to Twitter and thanked Greenblatt for his commitment to the Quartet principles. “Thanks @jdgreenblatt45, @realDonaldTrump’s envoy, for saying Hamas must disarm, recognize Israel & honor previous international decisions,” he tweeted.

Israel’s demands are that Hamas, now a partner in the Palestinian government, accept the internationally endorsed Quartet principles for Israeli-Palestinian peace including a rejection of “incitement, and terror,” and acceptance of “the two-State solution, building upon previous agreements and obligations,” before it will engage in talks with the Palestinian unity government.

Hamas, meanwhile, has repeatedly rejected demands for disarmament.

A Hamas-related news site, Shehab, reported that on Thursday, Yahya Sinwar, the chief of Hamas in Gaza said, “Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel.”

Last week, Saleh al-Arouri, the Hamas official who masterminded the 2014 kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens, said that Hamas has signed a reconciliation agreement with Fatah so that all Palestinian parties can “work together against the Zionist enterprise.”

In an interview with Egyptian television earlier this month, the terrorist group’s Politburo Chief, Ismail Haniyeh said that “Regarding the weapons of the resistance, as long as there is a Zionist occupation on Palestinian land, it is the right of the Palestinian people to possess weapons and resist the occupation in all of forms of resistance.”

Hamas has been in complete political and military control of the Gaza since it seized control of the Strip from Abbas’s Fatah party, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, in a bloody battle in 2007.

[Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv / Flickr]