Abbas: Hamas Members Must Recognize Israel to Be Part of Palestinian Unity Government
JNS.org – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly stated on Sunday that members of the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas must recognize Israel if they want to be included in the cabinet of a unity government.
Abbas made the assertion during a meeting with 12 former Israeli lawmakers at the PA headquarters in Ramallah, Haaretz reported. The PA leader accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of thwarting renewed US-led peace efforts and said the Trump administration will soon announce its support for a two-state solution.
“Netanyahu doesn’t want to renew the peace process, he thinks I’m going to stay here and guard the occupation,” Abbas said.
Both the US and Israel stated in October that they would not negotiate with any Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas as long as the terror group refuses to recognize Israel, among other conditions.
Yet Yahya Sinwar, the political chief of Hamas in Gaza, said Oct. 19, “Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”
Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah party recently signed a reconciliation agreement that would end PA sanctions on Gaza and restore a PA-controlled government in the coastal territory by Dec. 1.