'Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out against the reconciliation deal reached between rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, claiming that peace between Israelis and Palestinians will now be “much harder to achieve.”
“There is nothing we want more than peace with all our neighbors, but reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes this peace much more difficult to achieve,” Netanyahu said in a statement published on his official Hebrew and English Facebook accounts.
Palestine’s civil discord started in 2007 when Hamas won the elections and obtained power in Gaza while the West Bank territories fell under Fatah’s control. Since then, all attempts to reconcile the two groups and form a Palestinian power-sharing government have stalled.
In 2014, the rival faction managed to briefly negotiate a deal, which also angered Tel Aviv. Israel swiftly suspended US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, refusing to deal with Hamas, which Tel Aviv considers a terrorist organization with the sole aim of destroying the State of Israel.
On Thursday, after intense negotiations, Hamas and Fatah reached a new reconciliation deal, which Israel once again immediately rejected.
“Israel is opposed to any form of reconciliation in which the terrorist organization of Hamas does not disarm and does not stop fighting for the destruction of Israel,” Netanyahu said.'
Read more: Israel opposed to any Palestinian reconciliation with Hamas ‘mass murderers’ – Netanyahu