Palestinians reject Quartet demands

Representatives of the new Palestinian unity government have said they will reject the Middle East Quartet's offer to reinstate direct aid in return for a renunciation of violence and recognition of Israel.

Palestinians reject Quartet demands

Representatives of the new Palestinian unitygovernment have said they will reject the Middle East Quartet's offerto reinstate direct aid in return for a renunciation of violence andrecognition of Israel.



The Quartet's statement "reflects an evolution of itspositions, [but] this remains insufficient," Nabil Abu Rudeina, aspokesman the Palestinian presidency, said on Thursday.



"We have to work immediately toward the application ofthe roadmap and the Arab peace initiative."

On Wednesday the Quartet - which brings together theEuropean Union, Russia,the United Nations and the United States- reaffirmed that the new Palestinian coalition must renounce violence,recognise Israeland accept past peace deals.

The new government, comprising members of the rivalHamas and Fatah parties as well as independent candidates, was sworn inlast weekend after months of negotiation.

Unveiling its political programme on Saturday, IsmailHaniya, the Hamas prime minister, said while hisgovernment would "respect" past peace accords, thePalestinians had a "legitimate right" to "resistance in allits forms."

'Two-state solution'

In its statement on Wednesday the Quartet laid down keyconditions for the resumption of direct aid.

"The quartet expressed its expectation that the unitygovernment will act responsibly, demonstrate clear and credible commitment tothe quartet principles, and support the efforts of president Abbas to pursue atwo-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," it said.

The statement added that the new Palestiniangovernment - composed of Hamas, Fatah and independent candidates - would bejudged by its actions.

"The commitment of the new government in this regardwill be measured not only on the basis of its composition and platform, butalso its actions."

The statement also said it hoped the formation of thenew government would ensure calm and lead to a drop in violence in thePalestinian territories.


Despite the Quartet's outwardly unified response to the newgovernment, several European states have already taken steps to restore tieswith the Palestinians.

Norway,which is not an EU member, is a key donor nation to the Palestinians and hasalready pledged to resume economic aid.

Raymond Johansen, Norway'sdeputy foreign minister, arrived in Gazaon Monday calling on other states to follow his country's lead and recognize thenew Palestinian coalition.

Franceand Belgiumhave also moved quickly to re-establish ties with members of the newgovernment.

Karel De Gucht, the Belgian foreign minister, is to go to Gaza on Friday where hewill be the first minister from an EU nation to meet the new Palestinianforeign minister, Ziad Abu Amr, De Gucht's spokesman Rudy Huygelen said onMonday.

The German foreign ministry spokesman, Martin Jaeger, saidthe question of how the EU deals with the Palestinian government is likely to bea "central theme" at the informal meeting in Bremen.

"We should evaluate very carefully how this government,how the individual members of this government, behave in the coming days andweeks," Jaeger said.

Condoleezza Rice, the USsecretary of state, will travel to the Middle East this weekend, shuttlingbetween Israeland the Palestinian territories to try to get both sides closer to resumingstalled peace negotiations.

Source: Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16