Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, stated on Monday that the formation of the new Palestinian national Unity government is a test for the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas .The statements of Olmert came during a meeting with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
He said that Abbas has always been an opponent to Hamas, but “if Hamas continues its demands from Israel, this will show that Abbas has moved from his previous position”.an Israeli online daily reported.
Olmert also said that if the new government manages to free the abducted Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, then the Israeli position would change regarding the Hamas-Fateh coalition government.
Olmert also said that he will go ahead with his plan to meet with Abbas and the U.S secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.
He said that he will go to the expected meeting to “explore the possibility of a diplomatic horizon”, the Israeli daily reported.
The statements of Olmert came after the Israeli government softened its stance on the Mecca unity agreement. Initially Israel rejected the deal and said that it does not comply with the Quartet demands, while several Israeli officials said that Israel would study what was achieved by this agreement.
After the Palestinians reached the unity agreement deal, the Quartet announced that the government must abide by the demands and conditions it laid down last year.
The Quartet demands that the government must recognize Israel, renounce violence, and accept the signed Israeli-Palestinian peace deals.
Meanwhile, Olmert told his cabinet that since the unity government has not been formed yet, there is no reason not to attend the trilateral Israeli-Palestinian- American summit.
Several senior Israeli officials said that Hamas is the big winner of this unity government deal, since it allows the Islamic movement to keep its domination of the government “without changing its ideology”.