Abbas: Hamas ministers must recognize Israel

Ramallah

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly said he would not appoint officials from the resistance movement Hamas to his cabinet if they did not openly and publicly recognize Israel.
Abbas made the remarks in a meeting with former Israeli lawmakers visiting his party’s headquarters in Ramallah on Sunday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported, citing a member of the delegation.
Earlier this month, Hamas reached a national reconciliation deal with Abbas’s Fatah party with the aim of ending a decade-long political rift mainly over the governance of the Gaza Strip.
The deal has enraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said the Israeli regime would not accept “imaginary appeasement where the Palestinian side is reconciling at the expense of our existence.”
After the deal was reached, Netanyahu demanded that the new government recognize Israel, dismantle the military wing of Hamas and cut ties with Iran.
The US has echoed the demand, saying any Palestinian government must “unambiguously and explicitly” adhere to certain “basic requirements,” namely recognizing Israel.
Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, has said the organization will not disarm, recognize Israel or cut off ties with Iran.—Agencies

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