Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will have chosen to "abandon the path of peace" if he implements a reconciliation deal with Hamas signed on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned.
He issued the warning shortly after Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal inked the deal in Qatar that will see the Palestinian president serve as the head of an interim consensus government in the run-up to elections this year.
"If Abu Mazen (Abbas) implements what was signed in Doha, he chooses to abandon the path of peace and join himself to Hamas," Netanyahu told a meeting of his Likud party's ministers, according to a statement from his office.
The Doha agreement comes as rival movements Fatah and Hamas struggle to implement a reconciliation deal signed in April that called for the immediate formation of a consensus government and elections within a year.
Israel has made clear its opposition to the agreement, warning Abbas that he could not reconcile with the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza and at the same time hold talks with the Jewish state.
"I have said several times in the past that the Palestinian Authority (led by Abbas) must choose between an alliance with Hamas and peace with Israel. Hamas and peace do not go together," Netanyahu said on Monday.
"I say to Abu Mazen, you cannot grasp the stick at both ends. It is either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel, you cannot have both," he added.
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