Finance Minister Yair Lapid urged patience Sunday night in dealing with the upcoming Palestinian unity government which will include members of both Fatah and Hamas.
“In a few weeks we will know what government [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is forming and we’ll decide how to restart the peace process,” Lapid said in an event held by his party, Yesh Atid, in Tel Aviv.
Lapid rejected calls that his party should quit the government following the recent collapse of peace negotiations.
“Only non-serious people could say that when in a 150-year-old conflict there is a 3-week delay we should become hysterical and break up the government, and with it the opportunity to separate from the Palestinians,” he said.
In April opposition leader and Labor party head Isaac Herzog called on key coalition partners Tzipi Livni and Lapid to abandon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in the likely event that the peace process cannot be revived, and to form a coalition with Labor that would make serious advances towards peace.
Earlier this month Lapid said Israel could potentially conduct talks with Hamas if the group renounces terror and recognizes Israel.
“It’s not like it didn’t happen before,” he told the Wall Street Journal, noting that the Palestinian Liberation Organization which controls the PA “used to be a terror organization” before it renounced terror and accepted Israel.
Netanyahu has outright rejected any possibility of continuing peace negotiations with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, as has Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.