US, Israel to discuss Palestinian pact

Thu May 5, 2011 9:27AM

US President Barack Obama (R) will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 20.
US President Barack Obama is set to meet Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the landmark reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian movements of Hamas and Fatah.

The White House says Obama and Netanyahu are scheduled to meet on May 20 to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, which has provoked major concerns in Tel Aviv and Washington.

The Palestinian movements, which had been at odds since Hamas emerged victorious in democratic parliamentary elections and took power in 2006, finally signed a reconciliation accord on Wednesday in a move to form a unity government.

Netanyahu, however, denounced the deal and described it as a “mortal blow to peace.”

He said that he cannot negotiate with Palestinians under the reconciliation deal with Hamas.

Negotiations between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority have been on hold since they were re-launched in Washington in late September, when a ten-month, partial Israeli settlement freeze expired and Netanyahu refused to renew it, allowing new settlement developments to resume in occupied Palestinian territories.

The Palestinians have repeatedly declared that they will not resume talks while Israel builds on their occupied lands.


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