Gush Shalom Welcomes Creation of New Palestinian Government
Press release June 2, 2014
Gush Shalom Welcomes Creation of the New Palestinian Government
Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc, warmly congratulates the Palestinian People and their leaders for having finally managed to overcome a malignant division which had caused considerable damage - to the Palestinians themselves as well as to Israel. The new Palestinian government could and should be a full partner for peace with Israel.
The involvement of Hamas in this government is no reason for Israel to boycott and confront it. Just the opposite, this is one of the biggest benefits: now, the State of Israel is presented with a historic chance to negotiate and reach an agreement with leaders representing all the major Palestinian organizations, in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and an agreement signed with it will be firmly grounded and able to win support of the vast majority of the Palestinian people .
The strong opposition manifested by Prime Minister Netanyahu is an act of hypocrisy – since Netanyahu himself had conducted negotiation with Hamas, through Egyptian mediation, and reached at least two agreements with Hamas – a prisoner exchange (The Shalit Deal ) in 2011 and a ceasefire agreement in 2012 . This could and should have been a prelude to a peace agreement to which Hamas would be part, and the new Palestinian government provides a tangible possibility for that.
Netanyahu 's opposition to it stems from the fact that he is not willing to reach an agreement with the Palestinians that would require his government to terminate the occupation and withdraw the IDF from the West Bank . He was not ready to do that when negotiating with a Palestinian government representing Fatah only, nor is he prepared to do it with the new Palestinian government. Netanyahu is just not ready to make peace, regardless of who the Palestinian government is and what are its components.