News / Middle East

Israel, US Condemn Palestinian Plan to Form Unity Government

Israel, US Condemn Palestinian Plan to Form Unity Governmenti
X
April 24, 2014 4:13 AM
Long-divided Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and Gaza Strip have announced plans to form a unity government in the near future. While Palestinians celebrate the news, Israel and the United States have expressed concern about what it means for the fragile Mideast peace process. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Israel, US Condemn Palestinian Plan to Form Unity Government

Zlatica Hoke
Long-divided Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and Gaza Strip have announced plans to form a unity government in the near future. While Palestinians celebrate the news, Israel and the United States have expressed concern about what it means for the fragile Mideast peace process.
 
Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced Wednesday they will soon begin talks to form a unity government.
 
"An agreement has been reached on the formation within five weeks of an interim government headed by President [Mahmoud Abbas]," said Ismail Haniya, prime minister of the Hamas government as he addressed people in Gaza.
 
The two enclaves have been politically divided since 2007, when Hamas split from the Palestinian Authority and took power in Gaza. The militant group has accused President Abbas of being too weak in dealing with Israel and its western allies. Numerous attempts at reconciliation have failed.
 
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki Wednesday said the Palestine Liberation Organization is making a serious effort to end the division.  
 
"What I want to say is that when we sent the PLO delegation to Gaza our goal was to reach an agreement. There was no tactic attempt or any game; it is all about a real work to finish the division," said al-Maliki.
 
Israel reacted angrily to the announcement. The Hamas-ruled enclave has refused to recognize Israel, and the two sides have traded bloody cross-border attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday accused President Abbas of sabotaging peace talks.
 
"We're trying to re-launch the negotiations with the Palestinians. Every time we get to that point, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) stacks on additional condition, which he knows that Israel cannot give. So instead of moving into peace with Israel, he's moving into peace with Hamas. And he has to choose. Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far he hasn't done so," said Netanyahu. 
 
Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The United States is mediating talks between Israel and the Palestinian government in the West Bank.
 
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Palestinian announcement jeopardizes the continuation of that fragile peace process.
 
"Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to non-violence, recognition to the state of Israel, an acceptance to previous agreements and obligations between the parties. This announcement, the timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement," said Psaki.
 
But many Palestinians, tired of being divided, celebrated the news of possible reunification.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid