The signing of a reconciliation deal in Doha between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah has provoked an angry reaction from Israel.
The agreement facilitates forming a unity government for the West Bank and Gaza headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas, which refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist, cannot be part of any wider peace talks.
“If President Abbas moves to implement what was signed today in Doha, he will abandon the path of peace and join forces with the enemies of peace. You can’t have it both ways. It is either a pact with Hamas, or peace with Israel,” said Netanyahu.
The accord paves the way for Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections, possibly later this year. However the UN’s chief has urged Mahmoud Abbas not to neglect pursuing the currently stalled negotiations with Israel.