John Kerry Says 'We Need' Ties to Palestinian Unity Government

Insists Will Monitor Ramallah Over Hamas Role

getty images

By Reuters

Published June 04, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday the United States would work with the new Palestinian unity government “as we need to” but would be monitoring its commitment to continued cooperation with Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a government of technocrats on Monday in a reconciliation deal between his Fatah movement and the Islamist Hamas, which advocates Israel’s destruction.

“We are going to be watching (the government) very closely, as we said from day one, to absolutely ensure that it upholds each of those things it has talked about, that it doesn’t cross the line,” Kerry said.

Kerry said Abbas had told him that the new government would be committed to principles of non-violence, negotiations with Israel and existing accords including cooperation on security.

Kerry, who oversaw peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians that stalled in April, said he had spoken over the last few days with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who warned on Sunday against any international rush to recognize the new Palestinian government.

Netanyahu has condemned Washington’s decision to work with the unity government. But Kerry stressed that Washington did not recognize the new Palestinian government.

“Let me be very clear: the United States does not recognize a government with respect to Palestine, because that would recognize a state and there is no state,” Kerry said. “This is not an issue of recognition of a government.”

Israel froze U.S.-brokered peace talks with Abbas when the unity deal was announced on April 23 after numerous unsuccessful attempts at Palestinian reconciliation since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from Fatah forces in fighting in 2007.

The United States views Hamas as a “terrorist” organization and the U.S. Congress has imposed restrictions on U.S. funding for Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which typically runs at $500 million a year, in the event of a unity government.

Kerry said the U.S. law on assistance to the Palestinian Authority specifically states that the administration makes a judgment about “undue influence by Hamas in any way”.

“At the moment, we don’t have that, and so we are looking to see as we go forward on a day-to-day evaluation - we will measure the composition (of the new government), we will measure the policies of the new technocrat government, and we will calibrate our approach accordingly,” he said.

“I’ve had several conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Kerry said, playing down reports of a rift with Israel. “We’re completely talking about this on a day-to-day basis. Israel is our friend, our strong ally.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.