State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated Monday that the U.S. government does not believe Hamas plays a role in the Palestinian government.
CNN reporter Elise Labott questioned Psaki about the United States' continued support for the Palestinian unity government, saying, "You've seen the comments that are coming out of Hamas. And now that the U.S. has, in effect, kind of accepted the fact that Hamas is now in this unity government, you would think that as leader of this unity government, it would be incumbent on President Abbas to rein in or take — you know, try and maintain some kind of control over the activities of Hamas."
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"You're right in a sense that we've stated from the beginning that we would judge the interim government by its actions, composition and policies," Psaki replied. "And based on what we know now, it hasn't changed. We don't believe that Hamas plays a role in the government."
Labott countered that, while it may be true on a technicality, "It is a unity government that includes Hamas. And I'm just wondering, now does President Abbas, more so than ever, bear responsibility for the actions of Hamas?"
Psaki insisted that Abbas does not bear any responsibility for Hamas' actions, while also saying that "It is difficult to see how other aspects of the reconciliation process can move forward in this current atmosphere. And we've conveyed that as well."