Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has condemned the recent reunification of Palestinian leadership, met Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to forestall attempts by Palestinians to win national recognition in the U.N.

Sarkozy previously indicated support for the recognition of Palestine.

After the meeting, Netanyahu said that Hamas, which just patched things up with rival Palestinian leadership organization Fatah, needed to clarify that it was not maneuvering to achieve the destruction of Israel.

That sentiment was echoed by the U.S. State Department, which said through an official: “To play a constructive role, any Palestinian government must accept the Quartet principles by renouncing violence, accepting past agreements and recognizing Israel’s right to exist.”

Speaking of past agreements, Fatah began pushing for reconciliation after the peace process stalled over Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian land. — PZS


Peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization broke down last year and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been pushing instead to obtain United Nations backing this September for an independent state on all areas Israel occupied in a 1967 war.

Netanyahu criticized such a move, saying that peace “can only happen through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and not through a UN diktat.”

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