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U.S. will work with Fatah-Hamas unity government

JTA

June 2, 2014 | 2:10 pm

<em>Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, left, receives a designation letter from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to head a unity government in Ramallah on May 29. Photo by Reuters </em>

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, left, receives a designation letter from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to head a unity government in Ramallah on May 29. Photo by Reuters

The United States plans to work with the new Palestinian unity government and will continue to disburse aid to the Palestinian Authority, the State Department said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that the U.S. “will be watching closely to ensure that [the Hamas-Fatah government] upholds principles that President [Mahmoud] Abbas reiterated today,” according to Haaretz.

The principles include recognizing Israel, rejecting terror and honoring agreements.

The new government was sworn in Monday in Ramallah. Earlier that day, Israel’s Security Cabinet said it will not negotiate with the new government and will oppose Hamas participation in the Palestinian elections if and when they take place. The Security Cabinet also said it will hold the new government responsible for any rockets fired at Israel from Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel would not allow the new unity government to hold any elections in eastern Jerusalem, the Times of Israel reported.

Abbas criticized Israel’s refusal to recognize the new government and said Palestinians would continue efforts to declare statehood, something that was put on hold during peace talks with Israel.

“We won’t stand with our hands folded in the face of punitive measures, and we will use every legal and diplomatic tool at our disposal in the international community,” he said, according to Haaretz.

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