TAPPER: Jay, on the Mideast peace process, how can Israel be expected to make peace with the Palestinians, given the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, and Hamas in its charter has called for the destruction of Israel? How can — how can there be any way forward there? What is the president suggesting to King Abdullah? What will he suggest to Bibi on Friday?
CARNEY: Well, Jake, as we've said, we're watching developments in the Palestinian territories, and we're watching them very closely. And we've made it clear that Hamas must stop its outrageous use of terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist. That remains our position. It has not changed. And obviously any participation in a Palestinian government would require that it abides by those standards, in our view. And that's why we're continuing to monitor the developments and reports about the reconciliation and where it's headed.
TAPPER: But is there anything possible? The president said that now more than ever it's vital to have the parties return to the table. Is anything even possible given this reconciliation with Hamas?
CARNEY: Well, again, we — we're sort of looking into the future in terms of what the Palestinian government might look like. In terms of the reconciliation, we've made it clear that our principles have not changed; that Hamas must stop its use of terrorism and must recognize Israel's right to exist. And those are core principles that we stand by.
TAPPER: Switching to a domestic issue, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services has granted more than 1,300 waivers for businesses, unions, corporations for the health care law. Can you explain why so many waivers have been granted?
CARNEY: Well, first of all, that's not that many if you consider the number of businesses that we're talking about here. The waiver is not a waiver of the law; it is a provision of the law. And it is specifically designed to ensure that those individuals in some places of employment who have mini-med plans — these very limited coverage plans — retain the coverage that they have while thetransition and the implementation of the health care law takes place. By 2014 — beginning in 2014, when annual limits are completely banned, all Americans will have affordable coverage options and these waivers will no longer be necessary and no longer exist. It's basically a bridging mechanism to get — to ensure that those folks who have these mini-med plans, who have this minimal level — levels of coverage, are able to retain it during this period of transition.
TAPPER: And how are the — how is the decision made? Has anybody been denied one of these waivers?
CARNEY: There have been 1,372 waivers granted, and fewer than 100 waiver applications have been denied.
TAPPER: And why were they denied?
CARNEY: You'd have to ask HHS.