The Israeli cabinet voted Sunday to limit talks even with moderate Palestinian officials to shared security and humanitarian concerns, ruling out a formal peace process until the new Palestinian government recognizes Israel and renounces violence.
In officially rejecting the Palestinian unity government that was sworn in over the weekend, the cabinet also stated that "Israel expects the international community to maintain the policy it has taken over the past year of isolating the Palestinian government."
The vote was unanimous, with two cabinet members from the Labor Party, including the only Arab minister, abstaining.
"This is a government that does not accept the conditions of the international community," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said.
The new Palestinian cabinet includes rival political parties and has pledged to respect previous agreements that recognize Israel, unlike the previous cabinet in office since the radical Islamic movement Hamas took control of the government nearly a year ago.
But it continues to be led by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, and its political program falls short of renouncing violence and explicitly recognizing Israel, the conditions for resumption of foreign aid.
Most international donors cut off economic aid after Palestinian voters chose Hamas to run the Palestinian Authority in January 2006.
Unemployment and poverty have increased in the territories since then, and about 130 Palestinians have been killed over the past year in a violent power struggle between Hamas and the rival Fatah movement.