World Bulletin/News Desk
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday his government would not take part in Middle East peace talks with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.
In an interview with CNN, Netanyahu also said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's comments earlier on Sunday denouncing the Holocaust could not be reconciled with his alliance with Hamas.
"We will not negotiate with a government backed by Hamas," Netanyahu said on the CNN program "State of the Union."
Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians after Abbas announced a unity pact with the rival Palestinian group.
Apparently seeking to build bridges, Abbas has condemned the mass killings of Jews in World War Two before and challenged allegations, stemming from a 1983 book he authored, that he is a Holocaust denier.
"President Abbas can't have it both ways. He can't say the Holocaust is terrible but at the same time embrace those who deny the Holocaust and seek to perpetrate another destruction of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said on CNN.
"I think what President Abbas is trying to do is to placate Western public opinion that understands that he delivered a terrible blow to the peace process," he said.
"President Abbas has to decide whether he wants a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel. He cannot speak out of both sides of his mouth. He cannot embrace Hamas and say that he wants peace with Israel," Netanyahu said, according to a transcript provided by the CBS network.
"In fact, what I say to him very simply is this: President Abbas, tear up your pact with Hamas. Recognize the Jewish state. Make peace. I hope you do that. But you can't have Hamas and peace with Israel."
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas slammed as an attempt by Israel to cover up the "ugly face of its occupation and its crimes" against Palestinians in statements by Netanyahu.
"It's the Israeli occupation that commits a Holocaust against the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said on his Facebook page.
"Netanyahu's latest statements are just an attempt to cover up the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people," he added.Last Mod: 27 Nisan 2014, 17:40