World in brief: Israel reacts coolly to Palestinian deal
Israel declared Thursday it would not deal with the newly named Palestinian government, saying the proposed coalition showed no sign of recognizing the Jewish state or meeting other international conditions for ending an aid embargo.
Israeli officials said the draft platform for the new government, under which the radical Islamist group Hamas will share power with its main rival, Fatah, appeared to maintain the hard-line stance of the current government, which has been run solely by Hamas.
Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said the West should maintain its aid boycott unless the Palestinian government met the conditions, set down by the West last year after Hamas defeated Fatah in parliamentary elections.
The Israeli reaction came as Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh formally presented Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with the lineup of Cabinet ministers who will serve under a power-sharing arrangement forged by the two factions last month.
Nations in accord on Iran sanctions
The world’s major powers agreed Thursday on modest new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment, sending a strong signal that the U.N. Security Council will likely remain united in seeking to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The proposed new sanctions include a ban on Iranian arms exports and financial restrictions against 28 additional individuals and organizations involved in the country’s nuclear and missile programs – about a third linked to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.
The governments of the five veto-wielding permanent council nations – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France – and Germany signed off on the draft resolution and it was then presented to the 10 elected council members.
The non-permanent members need time to consider the draft and a vote isn’t expected before late next week, said South Africa’s U.N. Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, the current council president.