Netanyahu: Israel will never negotiate with Hamas-backed government

by Reuters
Thursday, 24 April 2014 16:36 GMT

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he would never negotiate with a Palestinian government "backed by a terrorist organization" committed to Israel's destruction.

Netanyahu told NBC News in an interview that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas still had time to reverse course on his pact with Hamas and that Israel was willing to pursue "genuine" peace negotiations.

"I will never negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by terrorist organization committed to our destruction," Netanyahu said.

"He (Abbas) still has the opportunity to reverse the course ... to abandon this pact. I hope he does it," Netanyahu added. "Because if we encounter a Palestinian leadership and a Palestinian government that is ready to pursue genuine peace negotiations, we are going to be there. I am going to be there." (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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