Peres Says Fatah-Hamas Agreement Is “Split”
Israel’s President Shimon Peres characterized the announced agreement between Fatah and Hamas as “a split,” saying “Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization (and) doesn’t have to change their charter that calls for the destruction of Israel.” “Israel would like to see the Palestinian people become united for peace,” said Peres. “This is not an agreement …Hamas is a branch of Iran – Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah want a union for war. ”
The agreement was announced at a news conference in Cairo on Wednesday, fostered by the caretaker Egyptian government. Calling each other “brothers,” the negotiators declared a new chapter in the Palestinian struggle for independence, hampered by the split between the Fatah-run West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza. According to sources, Fayyad, who has gained the trust of both Israel and the United States, would not be part of the interim government. President Mahmoud Abbas and Mr. Fayyad, are widely considered the Palestinians most moderate leaders.
During a recent visit to New York, Peres had indicated his belief that a peace agreement might be achievable early enough to derail a possible unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinian Authority. Following the proclamation of the Fatah-Hamas Agreement, the Israeli President said “The United Nations cannot accept or recognize a terrorist organization as a state in September.”
Commenting on the proposed agreement, Peres said “Mr. Abbas wants a union for peace…I call upon my friends in the leadership of Fatah: unite for peace, don’t make compromises, don’t permit a division that legitimizes destruction and hatred…It is not too late. Let’s take the road of peace. Let’s not create an impossible situation – neither for the Palestinians, nor for us.”
Peres, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, called the Hamas-Fatah agreement announced on Wednesday “a fatal mistake” that will allow terrorists to rule Judea and Samaria and ruin the chances for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as a country. “Signing this agreement that will result in elections in another year is liable to allow a terrorist group [Hamas] to control [not only] Gaza [but also] Judea and Samaria,” said the president, “and the Hamas policy will win….Hamas is not changing its spots,” President Peres continued, “It is not ceasing to be a terrorist group that serves Iran and smuggles weapons.”
The agreement, said Peres, would result in a “continuation of rocket attacks, a continuation of the murder of innocent civilians, and the continuation of Iranian interference that supports and finances terror in our region.” Mr. Ahmad of Fatah said that Israeli officials had warned Mr. Abbas not to collaborate with Hamas but that “he did not heed the warning, and he responded, ‘Yes, we want Hamas.’ ” The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority has negotiated for a two-state solution with Israel, whereas Hamas says Israel has no right to exist and demands its destruction.