Aides to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated on Thursday that the United States has informed Abbas that it will boycott the new National Unity Government because it “will not explicitly recognize the state of Israel”.The U.S decision comes as a direct blow to president Abbas who carried marathon talks and efforts to reach a unity government deal. The deal aims to end the embargo which was imposed on the Palestinian government after Hamas won the legislative elections last year.
President Abbas received a phone call from a senior official at the US State Department late on Wednesday, and on Thursday, a US diplomat handed the same information in a letter to Abbas in person.
The US Consulate in Jerusalem did not comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday that he opposes cutting ties with Abbas despite the unity deal reached with Hamas.
He stated that “he is not happy with the coalition deal”.
The statements of Olmert came in Ankara during a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Also on Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya from the Hamas party, submitted his resignation to Abbas to pave the way for the formation of the new government.
Haniyya submitted his resignation during his meeting with Abbas in Gaza City.
President Abbas asked Haniyya to form a unity government within three weeks, after handing him the letter of appointment.
Israeli media stated that Abbas asked Haniyya to respect the United Nations resolutions, and the decisions of the Arab Summit.
Chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr. Sa’eb Erekat, said that the US is delivering a message to the government that it must adhere to the Quartet decisions and recognize Israel, recognize the previously signed peace agreements and renounce violence.
Last week, Erekat met with senior American officials in Washington to prepare for Monday’s three-way summit in Jerusalem.