On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the slaughter of six million Jews "the most heinous crime" of modern history, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas " cannot speak out of both sides of his mouth."
Abbas' Palestinian Authority last week agreed to end its feud with Hamas, prompting Israel to withdraw from peace talks.
Netanyahu, appearing Sunday on "Face the Nation," condemned Hamas as Holocaust deniers who still seek the destruction of the Jewish state.
Abbas "cannot embrace Hamas and say he wants peace with Israel," Netanyahu said. He said Abbas' statement was an appeal to American and world public opinion in an effort to "smooth over the fact that he made a terrible step away from peace."
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He said Abbas should "tear up that pact with Hamas and go back to the negotiations. He said Israel will never negotiate with a government backed by Hamas as long as he is prime minister.
"You can say nice things … or even significant things about the Holocaust, but you can’t embrace those who deny the Holocaust," he said.
Host Bob Schieffer asked whether Hamas made the move because it has been weakened, but Netanyahu insisted that a weakened enemy committed to your destruction still should not be a partner in negotiations. Such a move would be like the United States negotiating with al-Qaida just because the terror organization was weakened, he said.
"These are people who praised bin-Laden as a holy warrior," and condemned the United States for killing him, he said of Hamas.
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