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Germany dubious on Palestinian unity deal

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Germany dubious on Palestinian unity deal
Hamas' Musa Abu Marzuka (l) and Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad. Photo: DPA
14:23 CEST+02:00
Germany has joined Israel and the United States in expressing deep scepticism about the reconciliation between former rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, declaring the latter too radical and violent for a peace agreement.

“Hamas is not a dialogue partner for us because we don't work with organizations that fight with violence against Israel's right to exist,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Thursday, daily Tagesspiegel reported on its website.

Germany's position would not change as long as Hamas maintained its radical stance against the Jewish state, he said. The German government would “now examine most closely” the concrete terms of the agreement between the Palestinian factions, Westerwelle said.

Following a series of secret talks in Egypt, Fatah which governs the West Bank and Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, announced on Wednesday they were putting aside years of bitter rivalry to create an interim unity government and hold elections within a year.

Israel quickly condemned the deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Fatah could not hope to forge a peace deal with Israel if it pursued a reconciliation accord with Hamas.

"The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both," he said in a televised statement.

The United States is now reconsidering financial aid to the Palestinians, according to The New York Times.

“As we have said before, the United States supports Palestinian reconciliation on terms which promote the cause of peace,” Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said. “Hamas, however, is a terrorist organization which targets civilians.”

The Local/djw

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