Bibi ‘to move against Palestine unity’
The Israeli prime minister-designate is mulling over lobbying the US against Hamas participation in a Palestinian unity government.
"We shall try to convince our American friends that this is not something that would help the peace process, and that it would only make it easier for all sorts of other players – the Europeans and the Russians – to deal with Hamas," said Zalman Shoval, a close aide to Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu.
"To return Hamas as a partner is not what America is interested in," he added. "I'm not saying we can prevent it, but we should try."
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton next week when she pays a visit to Israel. Bibi is expected to lure her into preventing Hamas from joining a Palestinian unity government.
The remarks were made amid international calls — including British Foreign Secretary David Miliband — for dialogue with the Islamic movement.
Hamas took power in a democratic election in 2006; at that time, however, the West announced that it would not deal with the movement until it recognized Israel and denounced "violence".
Hamas was democratically-elected to form a Palestinian government in 2006. The movement, however, was confined to governing the Gaza Strip after an internal controversy with the Fatah movement over the elections.
The US, the European Union and Israel have not recognized Hamas and have labeled it a "terrorist" organization.
The Islamic movement says its armed struggle against Israel is a legitimate resistance against occupation and has nothing to do with violence or terrorism.