Israel has rejected the Palestinian unity deal, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it "a tremendous blow to peace." Israeli Vice-Premier Silvan Shalom said Israel will redouble its effort to oppose recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.
Silvan Shalom: '’What needs to be done these days is to prevent those efforts of the Palestinians to get the recognition in the U.N. Assembly to have a new Palestinian state, because if we will give them the recognition, it will help the Iranians to build one more front base here within the Middle East.'’
The Obama administration has also refused to back the unity deal. In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner called on Hamas to accept longstanding international demands.
Mark Toner: "We’ve been clear all along the principles to which we think any Hamas element in the government would have to adhere to. And that is, you know, recognition of the state of Israel, a commitment to nonviolence, and the acceptance of the previous agreements and obligations between the parties, including the road map. We’ve been clear about those all along, that if Hamas wants to play a meaningful role in the political process there, and indeed in the peace process, they need to — they need to adhere to these principles."
Critics have long accused the United States of hypocrisy because neither the United States or Israel accept the same principles towards the Palestinians. With U.S. backing, the Israeli government has refused to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the occupied territories, commit to nonviolence, and accept previous agreements such as the road map.