WASHINGTON (Reuters) - i Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday to "tear up" his pact with Hamas, saying Israel would not take part in Middle East peace talks with a Palestinian government backed by the Islamist group.
Netanyahu also said Abbas's comments earlier on Sunday denouncing the Holocaust could not be reconciled with his alliance with Hamas.
"President Abbas has to decide whether he wants a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel. He cannot speak out of both sides of his mouth. He cannot embrace Hamas and say that he wants peace with Israel," Netanyahu said on the U.S. television program "Face the Nation," according to a transcript provided by the CBS network.
In an appearance on the CNN program "State of the Union," Netanyahu reiterated that Israel would not negotiate with a government backed by Hamas.
A historic reconciliation agreement has been concluded between the Islamic Resistance Movement-Hamas and the National Liberation Movement-Fateh party, after nearly 7 years of division.
The agreement was annouced shortly after a delegation of PLO representatives arrived in Gaza yesterday, April 22, with the aim of striking a reconciliation deal with Hamas.
Former agreements between the two movements faltered as several details within the reconcilation issues (PLO restructuring, elections, government, social reconciliation, freedoms) had been disputed over.
However, today's fresh move is said to be conclusive on the implementation steps.
Al Ray contributed to this report.