On Monday, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a statement that a “Hamas-Fatah unity government threatens to permanently derail the peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas is a terrorist organization that denies Israel’s right to exist and whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel. In its role as Israel’s ally, the U.S. should stand by its refusal to work with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, unless it accepts the Quartet conditions of recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and endorsing previous Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements in order to participate in the transitional government and elections.
“We must also make clear,” he added, “that should [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas continue in a unity government with an unreformed Hamas that it will jeopardize its relationship with the United States and its receipt of U.S. aid. The legitimacy of any peace process must always be weighed against the assurances Israel needs for its security and the security of the region. Peace is impossible so long as terrorists have a seat at the table.”