Liberman warned against possible consequences of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

 FM Liberman speaks with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton


Ashton and Liberman (Reuters archive photo)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman spoke on the phone on Friday (29 April) with Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Liberman told Ashton that Israel expects the EU to adopt a reasoned, cautious approach to the Fatah-Hamas rapprochement and that Europe must demand that Hamas fulfill the conditions of the Quartet: recognition of Israel and cancelation of the part of the Hamas Charter that calls for Israel’s destruction, cessation of terrorism against Israel, and the upholding of all signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

The European states must also demand tht Hamas allow the International Red Cross to visit the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. FM Liberman added that support for the reconciliation agreement before Hamas has fulfilled the above-mentioned conditions sends a message to Palestinian society that terrorism pays and decreases the chances of reaching a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Liberman told Ashton that the move raises the specter that what happened in the Gaza Strip, when Hamas seized control of the territory that Israel had evacuated in 2005, will repeat itself in Judea and Samaria. Liberman warned against a scenario in which Hamas would take over the territories which today are controlled by the Palestinian Authority headed by Abu Mazen and exploit this control to launch terrorist attacks – missiles and suicide terrorists – against Israeli citizens.