- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Israeli heads say a new Palestinian unity government that’s promising peace in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is too tied to Hamas to embrace — and the fact that the White House has offered it support and financial backing is a major concern.

The new government — sworn in Monday by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — was forged by pact between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Islamic militant group, Hamas.

The United States initially decried the deal, calling out Hamas as a terrorist group, Time reported. But now, the State Department has given signs of acceptance. Reuters reported that the Obama administration just announced plans to work with the group, and to help fund its new government initiatives.

“Based on what we know now we intend to work with this government, but will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles that President Abbas reiterated” about honoring past peace deals, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, during a press conference to announce the White House’s reconsidered policy, Reuters reported. “At this point, it appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas.”

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the White House plans to support the group worrisome.

“[We’re] deeply disappointed,” he said, Time magazine reported. “Hamas is a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction, and the international community must not embrace it. That would not bolster peace. It would strengthen terror.”

Some lawmakers in Congress are mulling a move to suspend the U.S. yearly financial aid package to Palestinians, in response to the White House’s support of the new government, Time said.

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