Israel Condemns Palestinian Reconciliation Deal [View all]
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday took a decisive step toward reconciliation with the Islamic militant Hamas, agreeing to head an interim unity government that would prepare for elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The announcement immediately threw Mideast peace efforts into turmoil. By moving closer to Hamas, the Palestinian leader appeared to be closing the door, for now, to any possibility of peace talks with Israel — although all such efforts have failed to get off the ground during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's three years in office.
Netanyahu condemned Monday's deal, saying it would be impossible to reach peace with a government that includes Hamas, which Israel and the West consider a terrorist group.
"It is either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel. You can't have them both," Netanyahu said.