Israeli PM: Hamas Deal Makes Peace Impossible

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process may have suffered its final blow this week.

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas announced they reached yet another reconciliation agreement on Monday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal signed the deal in Doha under the patronage of the emir of Qatar.

The agreement names Abbas as interim prime minister of a unity government whose purpose is to prepare Palestinians for elections and rebuild Gaza.

The deal comes just weeks after Israelis and Palestinians renewed face-to-face talks in Jordan. If it succeeds where other deals failed, it spells the end to the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad welcomed the agreement, saying it was a "key ingredient" to statehood.

"This is something that really needs to happen, national reconciliation, doing everything that can possibly be done as quickly as possible in order to begin the task of reuniting the country and the situation of our people," Fayyad said.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to condemn the deal.

"Hamas is an enemy of peace. It's an Iranian-backed terror organization committed to Israel's destruction," he said. It refuses to abandon terrorism. Indeed, it continues to arm itself for even deadlier terrorism."

Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between Hamas and Israel.

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

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Mideast Correspondent

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