Israel said on Thursday hat it would not recognize the unified Fatah-Hamas Palestinian government unless Hamas disarmed and stopped calling for Israel’s destruction. “As long as Hamas does not disarm and keeps calling for Israel’s destruction, Israel holds it responsible for all terror activities that come from Gaza,” Israel’s Prime Minister’s office said in a statement. “Any appeasement between the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas must include compliance with international agreements, compliance with the conditions of the Quartet,” the statement read, referring to a demand for Hamas’ recognition of the State of Israel.
Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled these territories ever since, despite international condemnation. Earlier on Thursday, the two Palestinian rival factions – the Ramallah-seated Fatah and the Islamist movement of Hamas – agreed to end their long-time rift following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo. Under the agreement, the consensus government under Fatah will have full control over Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip by Dec. 1. The agreement is considered as a resumption of a stalled reconciliation deal reached in Cairo in 2011.