February 20, 2011 By

Israel Backs Out Of Peace Talks after Hamas-Fatah Deal

israelIsrael has backed off from the already staggering U.S led peace negotiations after the Palestinian groups Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement which governs parts of the West Bank, on Wednesday, announced their decision to cooperate for forming a coalition government for both regions, by holding elections later in the year. The latest move comes just days before the expiry of a deadline for the Israeli- Palestinian peace talks.

Palestinian leaders criticised the move. Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said that Israel’s response was disappointing but was no surprise. The Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, accused Abbas, of forming an agreement with Hamas, which he called “a terrorist organisation that calls for the destruction of Israel”. The US and EU had classified Hamas as a terrorist group.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been leading the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations for almost nine months, said that both sides needed to make compromises. But the two sides have been in disputes in recent weeks over prisoner releases, PA moves to join the UN bodies and Israeli settlement expansion. Kerry expressed the US “disappointment” over the alliance with Hamas to the Palestinian president, over telephone.

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