Israel will continue to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority (PA) even if its leading faction Fatah completes a unity deal with Hamas, which Israel has publicly opposed, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Tuesday.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers that while he will not recognize the reconciliation process, he also will not derail it because the resumption of PA control will improve humanitarian conditions in the blockaded Gaza Strip, which is in Israel's interest, Haaretz reported quoting sources from the meeting.
He also said that the return of PA control over Gaza would not mean the resumption of long-suspended Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Over the past month, Hamas and Fatah have been discussing a unity deal that would allow the PA to return to Gaza, which has been governed by Hamas since 2007 when it took control of the coastal strip from PA forces.
The fallout followed Hamas's victory in Palestinian elections which were rejected by the PA, Israel and much of the international community and has resulted in a decade-long blockade and several rounds of fighting with Israel.
Netanyahu said last week that Israel is opposed to any deal involving Hamas unless the group disarms and recognizes Israel, requests which have also been made by the U.S.
Talks between the two groups will continue in November at a meeting that will involve all of the Palestinian political factions.
- Israel Won't Accept Palestinian Reconciliation without Strict Conditions
- Hamas Agrees Not to Attack Israel 'Unilaterally', Report Suggests
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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