Palestinians create unity government with Hamas terror group. Why is this a problem?

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with his new unity government in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 2, 2014 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90/Times of Israel)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with his new unity government in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 2, 2014 (photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90/Times of Israel)

(Washington, D.C.) — U.S.-sponsored Mideast peace talks ended in April. Unfortunately, the Israelis and Palestinians did not make peace with each other. But in a development that surprised many, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank did make peace with the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

On Monday, the Palestinians announced a “unity” government comprised of the somewhat moderate Fatah movement and Hamas.

Why is this a problem?

Because Hamas is a radical terrorist organization. Its 1988 charter makes clear that it is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood; forbids all peace talks; calls for the annihilation of Israel by armed, violent jihad; seeks to impose Sharia law on every man, woman and child in the Holy Land; and would force all Jews and Christians to convert to Islam or be branded an infidel and suffer.

Consider a few quotes from the Hamas Charter:

  • The Preamble of the Hamas charter quotes Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood found Hassan al-Banna calling for the destruction of Israel: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
  • Article Eight of the Hamas charter: “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”
  • Article Eleven: “This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgment.”
  • Article Thirteen: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement….There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
  • Article Thirteen: “When did the infidels do justice to the believers? ‘But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah.’ (from a section of the Qur’an known as, “The Cow,” verse 120).

For now, Mahmoud Abbas will remain president of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). But there is a new Prime Minister — Rami Hamdallah — a new cabinet, and many new questions about the implications of such an alliance.

The Israeli government immediately denounced the P.A.’s move, and urged the U.S. and other nations not to recognize or fund the new government.

“I call on all responsible elements in the international community not to run to recognize the Palestinian government of which Hamas is a part and which rests on Hamas,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Hamas is a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel and the international community must not embrace it. This will not strengthen peace; it will strengthen terrorism.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) called for a suspension of U.S. financial aid to the Palestinians, which totaled about $440 million last year.

“President Abbas argues that the new government is composed of ministers without political affiliation, but this new government appears dependent upon Hamas and Hamas continues to support terrorism in its quest to destroy the state of Israel,” Cantor said in a statement. “The burden lies with this new unity government to demonstrate in words and actions that it is truly independent of Hamas, that it rejects terrorism, and that it is committed to a peaceful two-state solution, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.”

A State Department spokesperson, however, said the Obama administration plans to continue funding the P.A.

Please pray:

  • For true and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • For salvation for all the leaders in the region through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • For the Lord to change the hearts of the Hamas leaders away from jihad and Sharia law and towards true peace and reconciliation.
  • For Palestinian Arab Christians to be strong and courageous and bold for Jesus Christ under a government partially led by Hamas.
  • For wisdom for Palestinian pastors to know how best to preach the Word and shepherd the flocks under their care at this critical time.

Here are more details on the new unity government:

“Palestinians overcame last-minute squabbles to form a new ‘government of national unity’ Monday, backed by the Islamist militant group Hamas, which the United States and Israel have branded a terrorist organization,” reports the Washington Post.

“The announcement of the transitional government, led by the moderate Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and with ministries run mostly by technocrats, represents a significant step toward ending a seven-year feud between the Palestinian political factions that separately control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” the Post noted. “It also appears to skirt, barely, U.S. prohibitions on aid to a Palestinian government that has ‘undue’ Hamas presence or influence. The Obama administration had worked behind the scenes to suggest terms for the new coalition government that would not trigger the U.S. ban, reasoning that the money helps preserve American leverage.”

“The reconciliation pact throws together two antagonistic camps with opposing visions: Hamas, the resistance movement that controls the Gaza Strip and does not recognize Israel, and the Palestine Liberation Organization and its political party, Fatah, which just concluded nine months of ultimately fruitless peace negotiations with Israel,” added the Post. “Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president and PLO leader, promised that the new government would continue a course of nonviolence. He said any peace talks with the Israelis would take place under the auspices of the PLO — not the interim government.”

“Today we declare the end of the split and regaining the unity of the homeland,” Abbas said in a recorded speech on Palestine TV. “This black page in our history has been closed forever.”

“Left undecided for now is whether Hamas and its military wing will allow the new government to run the security forces in the Gaza Strip and whether Hamas would be allowed to operate more freely in the West Bank — permitted, for example, to stage mass rallies or run social programs, which the group is now banned from doing,” the Post reported.