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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora