Ehud Barak told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the Palestinian government must also abandon terrorism and recognize earlier agreements with Israel, Ynetnews reported. Those are the preconditions set by the Quartet -- comprised of the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia -- that has taken the lead in attempting to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Hamas is a terror organization that fires rockets and missiles at Israeli communities and has just recently used an anti-tank missile against a school bus," Barak said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas assured the European Union Saturday the joint government will not participate in peace talks, which remain his responsibility, The Jerusalem Post reported. He said the government's role is to prepare for the next parliamentary election and rebuild Gaza.
Abbas has also said he will seek U.N. recognition off an independent Palestinian state based on Israel's 1967 borders if the peace process remains stalled.