Israeli Vice Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, met on Thursday with the
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on the sidelines of the United
Nations General Assembly in New York. Peres told Abbas that Olmert will
not meet him as longs as Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, and
releases the captured soldier.
Peres added that the Olmert-Abbas meeting “depends on Abbas achieving what he declared as a condition”.
The conditions were a recognition of the Hamas-led government of Israel and the signed agreements in addition to the release to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldiers captured by resistance fighters in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Quartet Committee (the United States, Russia, the European Union and Russia) said on Wednesday that the Palestinian National Unity Government should be coherent with the demands on recognizing Israel, renounce violence and to recognize previous peace agreements.
Meanwhile, the leading Hamas movement welcomed the Quartet's statements that endorsed the Palestinian unity government. This endorsement could bring an end to the international ban on aid to the P.A.
Peres, after praising Abbas, said that Hamas did not stop the firing of homemade shells at Israeli areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
On the ground, tension between Fateh and Hamas continued after it flared up last week when a top Palestinian intelligence official, loyal to Abbas and Fateh movement, was shot and killed in Gaza.
Also, Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Sa'eb Erekat, from the Fateh party, said that the unity government should be consistent with the international community and should stand for its obligations.
Dr. Erekat added that mutual recognition (between Israel and the Palestinians) was one of the first commitments reached in the peace deals signed more than ten years ago.