Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sunday at their meeting that any new Palestinian unity government cannot include those who do not recognise the government of Israel, implying Hamas.
"[Abbas] told me this government of national unity could only include women and men who recognise Israel, renounce violence and who are in agreement with the principles of the [Mideast] Quartet," Fabius said at a press conference in Jerusalem after the meeting to revive peace talks.
Fabius’ response to Abbas’ comment which had implied the exclusion of Hamas was; “And that suits us perfectly.”
The split between Abbas and Hamas came after Hamas held separate, indirect talks with Israel.
The Palestinian unity agreement signed in April 2014 aimed to end the seven years of rivalry between Abbas’ Fatah movement and Hamas.
"We are committed to ideas that will launch the peace process," Abbas was quoted as saying by the Ma’an news agency.
The remarks came just before the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) meeting in which a new cabinet will be sought after the government’s collapse this week.
Both Ramallah and Jerusalem meetings with the French FM were part of an effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that were relatively stagnant following the US push for a final resolution that failed earlier last year.
Fabius made it clear to Abbas that Israel expects the Palestinians to “finally recognise Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
Netanyahu was rather skeptical of the French-led peace talks saying that foreign powers were trying to dictate an Israeli deal with Palestine, and asserted that peace terms on Israel will fail because “Israel will resist it, and...Palestinians will never agree to negotiate if they think the international community will give them what they want without negotiations.”
Netanyahu added that “Peace will only come from direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions. It will come from UN resolutions that are sought to be imposed from the outside.”