Israel: Peace Talks on Hold

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are on a hold pattern for now until it becomes clear whether the newly formed P.A. unity government gels, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

Two weeks ago when exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, head of Fatah, reached an agreement in Doha, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Abbas he could not have it "both ways."

"It's either a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel," Netanyahu said at the time. "It's one or the other. You can't have them both."

Netanyahu said Israel would not deal with an "Iranian-backed terror organization committed to Israel's destruction," one that "refuses to abandon terrorism…and continues to arm itself for even deadlier destruction."

Even before the latest reconciliation pact between Fatah and Hamas, most P.A. demands -- not the least its refusal to recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish people -- torpedo negotiations before they can begin on a serious level.

Last month, a P.A. delegation aborted direct talks with Israelis sponsored by Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman, after refusing to discuss Israel's security concerns. The P.A. abandoned the initiative after five rounds of talks.

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