Experts Doubt Hamas-P.A. Union Would Work

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The road to Middle East peace is about to get even bumpier. Israel's negotiations with the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas have stalled.

Now, President Abbas is trying to form a government with the terror group Hamas, which is a big problem for Israel.

Since taking over the Gaza Strip, Hamas has criticized the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority for being too soft with Israel.

"Our message to the Palestinian Authority is clear: You can have peace with Israel. You can have peace with Hamas. You can't have peace with both of us," said Mark Regev, spokesman for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Regev said it's important to understand who Hamas really is and what they stand for.

"Hamas is one of the most extreme, Islamist terrorist organizations. They say no to peace. They say no to reconciliation," he explained.

"They say 'yes' to terrorism and violence. They believe Israel should be obliterated," he continued. "They say every Israeli civilian man, woman and child, is a legitimate target."

Fatah, considered by some to be moderate, has been responsible for more terror attacks than Hamas. Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians remain deadlocked.

"I think the fact they are choosing to talk to Hamas when they are refusing consistently to talk with Israel says a lot," Regev said.

Even so, President Obama called for stepped up peace efforts.

"It's more urgent than ever that we try to seize the opportunity to create a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis," he said recently.

This latest development, however, could cause a dilemma for the U.S.

In 2010, the U.S. gave the Palestinian Authority nearly $600 million, but considers Hamas a terrorist organization and is prevented by law from negotiating with Hamas.

It's not clear what the Obama administration would do if the groups formed a partnership.

Observers say there really is no peace process because the Palestinians are hoping for unilateral United Nations recognition as a state in September.

Palestinian expert Pinchas Inbari said that could push Hamas to resort to more terrorism against Israel to discredit the P.A.

"So I'm very much afraid Hamas will do what Hamas can do to topple by force the chances of Ramallah to be recognized as a state," he told CBN News.

Trying to push peace talks at a time when the Middle East is in turmoil could backfire for the U.S.

"If you enforce the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem, and refugees on the current problematic situation, ok, you may unite them all against you," Inbari said. "So, I think that the whole mantra about peace process may be re-evaluated now."

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Reporter

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