BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority security forces on Sunday accused Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of supporting terrorism by encouraging Jewish settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.
The remarks came in response to a speech by Netanyahu during the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, when he said that Hamas was taking control "inside the PA" and called for "international pressure" on Abbas to "reverse course and end cooperation with Hamas."
"Those who thought that the Palestinian unity between Hamas and Fatah would moderate Hamas were mistaken," Netanyahu said as reported by the Jerusalem Post.
"Instead of the Palestinian Authority taking control of Gaza, there are increasing signs that the exact opposite is taking place -- that Hamas is increasing its control inside the PA in Judea and Samaria," he added.
Spokesperson for the Palestinian security forces Adnan Dmeiri, however, countered that "Netanyahu and his right wing extremist government are seeking to muddle Palestinian reconciliation and foil the national consensus government."
In a phone call with Ma'an, Dmeiri said that the Israeli government was doing do its best to lay obstacles and "mines" in the way of Palestinian reconciliation after it had failed to convince the United States and other world powers to boycott the Palestinian national consensus government.
The unity government, he added, would endeavor to support peace in the Middle East.
He charged, however, that Netanyahu's government is a major supporter of "'terrorism" given its continuous support for Jewish settlers' attacks on the Palestinian people and their properties.
Dmeiri said that the Palestinian security services were committed and able to keep the peace and order in cooperation with the Palestinian people.
The two largest Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah formed a government of national unity last week five weeks after signing a historic accord that ended a seven-year long division.
Although the international community welcomed the move, Israel opposed it and has threatened sanctions. Israel is against Hamas' involvement in the coalition, as it says Hamas does not recognize its right to exist and is committed to its destruction.
Palestinian leaders, however, have countered that the unity government is committed to the principles of the PLO, which has long recognized Israel's right to exist and renounced violence.
Israel, meanwhile, has never recognized the Palestinian right to exist, nor has it renounced violence.