Middle East

Netanyahu tells AP he is 'troubled' by US decision

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem June 1, 2014. REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel's prime minister says he is "deeply troubled" by the United States' decision to maintain relations with the new Palestinian unity government.

Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the world not to work with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' new government because it is backed by Hamas, an Islamic militant group that has killed hundreds of Israelis.

However, the U.S. said it's prepared to give the new government a chance. Washington and the European Union have said the government must reject violence and accept Israel's right to exist. Abbas says his new Cabinet, made up of apolitical technocrats, is committed to these principles.

Speaking to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Netanyahu urged the U.S. to make it "absolutely clear" to Abbas that his pact with Hamas is "simply unacceptable."





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