The European Union has come out in support of a united Palestinian government between the PLO and Hamas, despite the fact that the EU views Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Supporting the new Palestinian government in order to promote a “democratic culture” among Palestinian society, the EU’s envoy to Israel implied the EU is ready to overlook the terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas.
“Our view of Hamas has not changed – it is a terrorist organization designated as such under EU law,” Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Anderson said. “But something must be done to pave the way for the holding of long overdue elections that are necessary for ensuring the development of a democratic culture in a future Palestinian state.”
Meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and other EU ambassadors in Jerusalem, Faaborg-Anderson reiterated the EU’s commitment to the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact announced last month.
“Only a Palestinian government of independent figures committed to nonviolence, accepting previous agreements and Israel’s right to exit, will be acceptable to us,” he added.
On Monday, the EU announced that it would help financially support the new Palestinian government as long as it commits itself to the previously stated parameters.
Faaborg-Anderson and other EU ambassadors may be holding their breath for the impossible. Hamas has stated time and again and it would never recognize Israel nor renounce violence as a means to achieve their goals.
“The EU’s engagement with a new Palestinian government will be based on its adherence to these policies and commitments,” the EU ministers said in a joint statement. “Reconciliation on these terms is an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution and a lasting peace.”
The ministers urged both sides to come back to the negotiating table and “exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any unilateral action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state solution.”
Faaborg-Anderson added that the EU “is encouraging that both parties have, since 29 April, exercised restraint and avoided measures which could further undermine peace efforts.”
Liberman did not publicly respond to Faaborg-Anderson’s comments. Earlier in the day, at a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the foreign minister reiterated Israel’s stance that it would never negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.