Abbas Disagrees with Hamas Statement on Israel Recognition, Likud Expects Rejection of Call to Murder Israelis
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said he does not agree with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal “about not recognizing Israel,” but added that Mashaal “stands behind” agreements between Hamas and Fatah that “talk about the two-state solution.”
Hamas and Fatah agreed to recognize Israel in 1993 by agreeing to the Oslo Accords, and that agreement “was ratified by Mashaal,” Abbas said, according to Israel National News.
However, upon his recent visit to Gaza for Hamas’s 25th anniversary, Mashaal had said, “We are not giving up any inch of Palestine. It will remain Islamic and Arab for us and nobody else. Jihad and armed resistance is the only way.” Hamas will not rest until Israel is completely destroyed, Mashaal said.
An Israeli analyst quoted by Israel National News reacted to Abbas’s assessment of Mashaal by saying PA leaders “know that it is enough for Abbas to claim that Hamas is ‘peace-loving’ for them to be portrayed thusly in the media, even as Hamas’s leader clearly says what he means.”
“They are counting on the media to report what Abbas says about Hamas instead of what Hamas really says, and they are most likely to get away with it,” the analyst said.
Israel’s Likud party rejected the overture from Abbas.
The PA leader “is playing a duplicitous game for his international political needs,” the party said in a statement according to The Times of Israel. “What’s expected of [Abbas], who purports to be a partner for peace, is not to state the obvious about Israel’s right to exist. Rather, we expect him to condemn Mashaal’s calls for the murder of Israelis and the destruction of Israel, but these Abbas chose to ignore.”