The U.N. Security Council says any new Hamas-led Palestinian government must recognize Israel and commit itself to a negotiated settlement of the Mideast conflict. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, the council's current president, spelled out the U.N. body's expectation for the Palestinians and Israel.
Commenting for the first time on the militant Islamic group's surprise election victory last month, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said Friday the U.N. body remains committed to the goal of an independent Palestinian state living alongside Israel.
Bolton welcomed the Palestinian Authority's commitment to the so-called "road map" to peace. But he added that any future Palestinian government and Israel must share that commitment.
"The Security Council underlines the need for the Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorist attacks and dismantle the infrastructure of terror," Bolton said. "It reiterates its view that [Israeli] settlement expansion must stop, and its concern regarding the route of the [Israeli security] barrier."
Leaders from Hamas and the ruling Fatah party have met twice in recent days to discuss the formation of a new government following Hamas' victory in the Palestinian's January 25 parliamentary election. Hamas has said it would like Fatah to join in a coalition, but senior Fatah leaders said they preferred to stay in the opposition.
At a meeting in London Monday, drafters of the road map to peace - the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia - said aid donors will peg future assistance to the Palestinians on their government's adherence to peace with Israel.