JERUSALEM, May 9 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. lawmakers he is uneasy with a recent Hamas-Fatah agreement that "pushes us away from peace."
Netanyahu met with an eight-member U.S. delegation in Jerusalem Sunday and urged the lawmakers to send a clear signal to the Palestinian Authority, insisting that it shouldn't join in a unity government with Hamas, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
"If this [Fatah-Hamas] union was for peace, we would support it," Netanyahu said. "However, it pushes us away from peace and, in effect, the PA " is accepting into its ranks a body that is committed to our destruction in word, deed and in its armament program. This is a move that is very anti-peace."
Netanyahu said it is important for the United States and the international community to understand that Israel wouldn't negotiate with a Fatah-Hamas government unless it renounces terror, recognizes Israel and accepts past agreements.
The meeting with U.S. lawmakers, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House minority leader, came on the same day a visiting delegation from the Jewish American non-governmental group J Street met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
There were hopes the U.S. trip would be a prelude to a breakthrough in the peace process, but the signing last week of a unity deal between Fatah and Hamas ended that hope, the report said.
The U.S. delegation is in Israel for two days as part of a Middle East trip that includes a planned stop in Iraq.