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PA adviser says that the new government, not Hamas, has to recognise Israel

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

The Palestinian Authority’s Political Adviser has told the Israelis that it is up to the new unity government to recognise Israel, not Hamas. Nimer Hammad made his statement as he called on the Israeli government to rescind its freeze on the transfer of tax revenues to the PA, a decision made in the wake of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. Hammad described Israel’s tax freeze “theft” and called on the international community to intervene.

Speaking to Quds Press, Mr Hammad noted that Hamas is not required to recognise Israel. “The new government that will be formed is required to recognise all of the previously-signed agreements and to accept the two-state solution; Hamas should understand this but recognition is necessary by the new government, not the individual factions.”

He said that it is not possible for the PA to overturn the reconciliation agreement with Hamas to suit Israel: “Going back on the agreement under Israeli pressure is out of the question because reconciliation strengthens the Palestinian position.” That position, he added, is based on President Mahmoud Abbas’s platform of the two-state solution, acceptance of all past agreements, and the plan for the new Palestinian government to consist of independent personalities. “We hope that the world plays it role by pressuring Israel into accepting peace. As such, it is Israel that is required to back-down on this, not the Palestinians,” he said.