Palestinian deal a 'tremendous blow to peace': Israel PM

4th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday condemned a reconciliation deal between the leaders of the main Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas as a "tremendous blow to peace".

"What happened today in Cairo is a tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism," Netanyahu told reporters in London where he is due to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal buried the hatchet at a reconciliation ceremony in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday that ends a nearly four-year feud.

Netanyahu pointed to Hamas's recent statement condemning the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US forces in Pakistan as proof that the deal would harm chances of a peace deal in the Middle East.

"Three days ago terrorism was dealt a resounding defeat with the elimination of bin Laden. Today in Cairo it had a victory," he said.

"Because when Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas), the head of the Palestinian Authority, embraces Hamas, an organisation that two days ago condemned the American action against bin Laden, praises bin Laden to the gills as some great martyr for emulation, when he (Abbas) embraces this organisation which is committed to Israel's destruction... this is a tremendous setback for peace and a great advance for terror," the Israeli premier said.

"The only way we can make peace is with our neighbours who want peace. Those who want to eliminate us, those who practise terror against us, are not partners for peace."

© 2011 AFP

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