Palestinian Gov't. Asks US to Pressure Israel
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel announced 1,500 new building tenders for communities in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, prompting the new Palestinian Authority government to call on the U.S. to pressure Israel.
"We strongly condemn this decision, which affirms that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a liar and is not interested in the two-state solution," Nimr Hammad, advisor to P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, told Agence France Presse.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to express disappointment with the U.S. and E.U.'s acceptance of a government that includes the terror group Hamas.
Netanyahu's office had nothing to add to earlier statements, while State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki added some detail to Friday's announcement that the U.S. "will work with this government."
Asked whether Israel would negotiate with the new P.A. government, Psaki said it would be up to "the parties to make the difficult decisions about coming to the negotiating table," adding that "we expect the P.A. to do everything in its power to prevent attacks from Gaza, but we understand that [the] Gaza Strip is under the control of Hamas."
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Beirut, Secretary of State John Kerry assured reporters the new P.A. government " is committed to the principles of nonviolence, negotiations, recognizing the State of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and the Quartet [U.S., U.N., E.U. and Russia] principles."
Israel is weighing unilateral moves in response to the P.A.'s moves, including revoking travel privileges for P.A. government officials, with the exception of Abbas, and withholding tax revenues.