As the rival Palestinian Fatah and Hamas parties announced details of their unity pact on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the world via a Twitter post that Fatah has chosen “a pact with a terror organization over peace with Israel.”
On Twitter, Netanyahu added an image of arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, shaking hands with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The caption of the image says, “Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Bin Laden. This is President Abbas’ new partner.”
Media advocate The Israel Project on Monday summarized the unity pact, which it described as “unprecedented.”
As to Netanyahu’s point – that Hamas is an internationally-recognized terrorist organization – TIP noted that the U.S. Congress, with the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, clarified as recently as 2012, prohibits American aid to any Palestinian government “that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.”
Under the terms of the unity pact announced on Monday, TIP said, “Hamas will get to keep and independently operate its fighters and its missile arsenal,” while “the terror group will be given renewed access to the West Bank.”
The group also described a sleight of hand to reshuffle the PA’s controversial Prisoners Affairs ministry, called out by the European Court of Auditors for using donated funds to pay salaries to prisoners convicted of violence against Israelis. The new Interior Ministry “will operate in a radically different way,” TIP said, by bundling the area of prisoner affairs into the PLO “to avoid scrutiny of terrorist allocations.”
“Hamas meanwhile has refused to meet international demands that it accept the Quartet requirements – that it recognize Israel, renounce violence, and adhere to previous agreements with Jerusalem,” TIP said.