By Rebecca Shabad - 06/03/14 09:16 AM EDT
The Israeli ambassador to the United States late Monday slammed the Obama administration for its willingness to work with the new Palestinian unity government formed earlier that day.
Ambassador Ron Dermer expressed in a series of statements on Twitter that Israel is “deeply disappointed.”
Israel is deeply disappointed with the State Department's comments today on the Palestinian unity government with Hamas 1/4— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) June 2, 2014
Dermer said Hamas, which has united with the Fatah party, is a terrorist organization that has murdered hundreds of Israelis, and launched thousands of rockets at Israeli cities.
Hamas remains “committed to our destruction,” Dermer said.
“So a Palestinian technocratic government backed by Hamas should be treated accordingly,” Dermer tweeted. “With suits in the front office and terrorists in the back office, it should not be business as usual.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday afternoon that the United States is willing to work with the newly formed government.
“It appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,” Psaki said. “Moving forward, we will be judging this government by its actions. Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but we’ll be watching closely to ensure that it upholds the principles that President Abbas reiterated today.”
Dermer said he appreciated strong statements from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress Monday against the new unity government.
Several lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), called for a suspension in aid to the Palestinians.
Psaki, however, said the U.S. wouldn’t pursue that move “at this time” and said the State Department considers the assistance important.
Dermer became Israeli ambassador last fall, succeeding former Ambassador Michael Oren, who had developed a good relationship with the Obama administration. Dermer previously served as a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.