News / Middle East

US to Work with Palestinian Unity Government

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah talks to media after the first unity government meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 3, 2014.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah talks to media after the first unity government meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 3, 2014.
Victor Beattie
The United States says it intends, for now, to work with the new Palestinian unity government, including continued foreign assistance. But, Washington said, it will judge the government by its actions and calibrate its approach. A Mideast expert says that while both Palestinian factions stand to benefit from the arrangement, it will do little to advance the suspended peace process in the near term.
 
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news briefing Monday the interim technocratic government announced by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not include ministers affiliated with the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and which Washington has designated a terrorist organization.
 
"Moving forward, we will be judging this government by its actions.  Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but we will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds the principles that President Abbas reiterated today," said Psaki.
 
Psaki said Abbas reaffirmed his support for the principles laid out by the Quartet on the Middle East, involving the United Nations, European Union, the United States and Russia. Those principles include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by previous agreements.
 
Abbas swore in the new unity government Monday following a landmark reconciliation deal with Hamas. His Fatah party has governed only the West Bank since Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2007.
 
University of Pennsylvania political science professor Ian Lustick said both factions benefit from the deal.
 
"As long as Hamas needs the support it could conceivably get from the international community through the Palestinian Authority, it has an interest in playing nice with Fatah. And, Fatah has an interest in playing nice with Hamas because it needs some source of legitimacy on the West Bank. The leadership of the Palestinian Authority is not held in high regard by most of the population of the West Bank. They’re seen as living relatively high off the hog and certainly not accomplishing anything vis-à-vis the Israelis. So, if the government can get an agreement with Hamas to reunify and that can be recognized and worked with by the international community while Israel opposes it, it is a kind of a political victory that Fatah enjoys," said Lustick.
 
Lustick said the timing of the unity government likely has to do with Abbas’ need to hold elections and the collapse in April of the latest effort at peace talks with Israel. 
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged world leaders not to recognize the Palestinian government, saying it will "strengthen terrorism.” His government suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks April 23, after the two Palestinian factions announced their intention to form a unity government.
 
Lustick said that while Hamas still wants Israel’s destruction, it takes a long view of its struggle with the Jewish state. He said the Islamist group may be open to a negotiated settlement that does not require it to recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but only a kind of ‘generation-long’ cease-fire, like the peaceful co-existence between East and West during the Cold War.
 
Lustick also said that if the Palestinian government manages to hold together for a couple of years, it is possible Israel will come around, given the benefits that a security arrangement with the Palestinian Authority gives it. If Palestinians are able to hold elections in Gaza and the West Bank that produces a government seen by Palestinians as legitimate, he said, it is possible some Israelis will see an incentive to negotiate seriously.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
June 04, 2014 10:59 AM
Diplomacy the peace Palestinian and Israel


by: joe from: ft lauderdale
June 04, 2014 6:13 AM
Israel is the USA's only strategic arms point in the middle east.muSLIMES lie as it states in the koran.(takiyya)


by: eric from: LA
June 03, 2014 2:43 PM
Judeo-Christian, and so it is. But the bad people want those American $$$


by: JohnWV from: USA
June 03, 2014 9:11 AM
Israel instigated all our Mideast wars and benefited from all. None were in American interests, yet we did the financing and dying. AIPAC's control of Congress and The Jewish state's false flag 9-11 New York massacre made it happen. Our acceptance and enabling of racist Israel's brutalization of the Palestinians and illegal confiscation of their homeland for generations is despicable. It shames America before the whole world.

In Response

by: Mladen Andrijasevic from: Isarel
June 04, 2014 12:03 AM
You need some basic education on the Middle East with quote from the original sources. Here it is:

A mini 5 + 1 question quiz for Secretary Kerry
http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2014/01/a-mini-5-1-question-quiz-for-secretary.html


by: musawi melake
June 03, 2014 7:37 AM
It should be far less freighting if the fox simply trys to fight, but when it says it will work with you, then it means the fox is planing to do greater damage than otherwise, for it feels that it's in a bad position to fight at the moment. This is how the past 500 or so years have been, when a bunch of unordered Europeans controlled the whole world, by splitting and conquring. It was a wise decesion by the Taliban not to talk to the fox and it's allies, because if they had done so, the entire picture would have been different now. Talking in Wstern thinking is another way of eliminating the opponent without fighting. Many entities, including the mighty Sovets have fallen prey to this.


by: henrytobias from: Israel
June 03, 2014 6:16 AM
How Professor Ian Lustick can compare the relationship between Israel and Hamas to that of the Cold War opponents I don't understand. Neither side in the Cold War questioned their rivals legitimacy, only their ideology, while Hamas refuses to recognize Israel has the right to exist. The comparison to the situation is ludicrous. What field of political science did the professor study - political science fiction?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid