Itongadol.- Israel cancelled a planned meeting Wednesday night with Palestinian officials over extending the negotiations in an apparent response to the earlier announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.
In recent days Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat have met on several occasions looking for a way to extend the talks past next Tuesday\’s deadline.
The decision to cancel Wednesday\’s meeting came after a meeting in the Prime Minister\’s Office dealing with the Hamas-Fatah move, and how Israel should respond.
Israeli politicians criticized Abbas and were skeptical about the future of the negotiations following Wednesday\’s announcement of the plareconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said that the Palestinian Authority had turned into a terrorist organization following the Fatah-Hamas agreement.
"We don\’t talk to murderers," Bennett stated. "The agreement between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad brings the Middle East to a new diplomatic era. The Palestinian Authority turned into the largest terrorist organization in the world, 20 minutes from Tel Aviv." According to Bennett, Israel shouldn\’t negotiate with terrorists, just as the US does not talk to Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Al Qaeda.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas\’ common denominator with Hamas is hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.
"This is a slap in the US and its Secretary of State\’s face," Katz told Army Radio. "Abbas said no to peace and no to real negotiations." Deputy Foreign Minister Ze\’ev Elkin remarked that the agreement "once again shows the true united goal of Hamas terrorists and Fatah leaders: To destroy the Jewish State.
"There\’s no reason to be surprised that someone who wouldn\’t even discuss recognizing a Jewish state in any borders and pays massive salaries to Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis and sit in Israeli prison found his natural place in a bear hug with Hamas murderers," Elkin added.