US Warns Palestinians on Unity Deal: Report

The United States may sanction the Palestinian Authority if Fatah and Hamas implement a reconciliation deal signed in May, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Israel HaYom reported that US deputy secretary of state Bill Burns was in the region to relay a sharp message from the White House warning of serious consequences for the Palestinians.

Burns will warn President Mahmoud Abbas that if he intends to form a unity government, Hamas must renounce violence, recognize Israel, and agree to abide by previous agreements, the daily reported.

PLO official Saeb Erekat dismissed the report. He said the PA had not received any such message — in public or privately — from the American side regarding reconciliation.

He said the Americans cut off aid to the PA when UNESCO accepted Palestine as a member.

Abbas is scheduled to meet the US deputy secretary of state on Sunday in Ramallah, Erekat said.

Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq and Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad went to Cairo on Wednesday for separate meetings with Egyptian intelligence, ahead of Abbas’ expected meeting with the leader of Hamas.

Khalid Mashaal, meanwhile, is preparing to meet with the Jordanian government but no date has been set for the visit, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar said Friday.

Zahhar told Ma’an that Hamas was ready to implement the reconciliation agreement.

(Ma’an News)

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