Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has censured the Palestinian unity agreement, saying Tel Aviv will not stop settlement constructions.
Lieberman said that the Palestinian unity pact would disrupt peace efforts, adding no moratorium would take effect in settlement activities in al-Quds (Jerusalem), ‘Judea and Samaria’, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
"The Palestinians are overly confident and are assuming that they have the complete support of the international community. This allows them to think that they will gain more directly from the international community than through negotiations with Israel,” Lieberman said.
Israel’s insistence to resume its West Bank settlement construction projects — deemed by the international community as illegal — prompted the Palestinian Authority to walk out on a new round of US-sponsored direct talks in September.
Palestinians have repeatedly voiced concern over efforts by Israel to wipe out the Islamic and Palestinian identity of the occupied territories, East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in particular, to effectively render the establishment of a future Palestinian state unfeasible.
Earlier in May, Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Meshaal and acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah signed a unity deal in a formal ceremony.
The deal calls for a joint interim government ahead of presidential and legislative elections next year.
But key issues, including negotiations with Israel and security issues in Gaza and the West Bank, are still unclear.
The reconciliation of the two leading Palestinian factions has raged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the Palestinian Authority must choose either to make peace with Israel or with Hamas.