Israel Halts Peace Negotiations with Palestine

World Today

Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brink of collapse Thursday, protesting a reconciliation agreement between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas, the Jewish state’s sworn enemy.

Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinian factions controlling Gaza and the West Bank, have been feuding for nearly seven years. They have announced reconciliation agreements in the past – none have come to fruition. Mere minutes after the deal was announced, Israel’s air force struck in Gaza. Within hours, Gaza militants launched rockets at Israel. Israel’s Security Cabinet made the decision during a marathon emergency meeting convened to discuss the new Palestinian deal. The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced the reconciliation plan Wednesday, meant to end a seven-year rift.

Israel objects to any participation in Palestinian politics by Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks over the past two decades. In a statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, the government said it would not hold negotiations with a government “backed by Hamas.”

“Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel,” the statement said, referring to a name Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also known by.

In response to the unification announcement by Palestine, both Israel and the U.S. may also impose economic restrictions on the Palestinian Authority and Israel may introduce retaliatory security measures CCTV’s Stephanie Fried reports with details.

Israel Halts Peace Negotiations with Palestine

Israel Halts Peace Negotiations with Palestine

Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brink of collapse Thursday, protesting a reconciliation agreement between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas, the Jewish state's sworn enemy.CCTV's Stephanie Fried reports with details.