Will Hamas change its ideology and recognize Israel’s right to exist after signing the “reconciliation” agreement with Fatah? According to the Palestinian Authority [PA], the answer is yes. But according to Hamas, the answer is a big no and a pledge to pursue terrorist attacks against Israel.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced last week that a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas representatives would not only recognize Israel, but also renounce violence. Abbas told PLO officials in Ramallah that the unity government would not deal with the peace process with Israel. Abbas stressed that the PLO leadership would be responsible for the peace process, while the unity government’s responsibilities would be restricted to dealing with the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinian public.
“The negotiations are a PLO matter because it represents all Palestinians,” Abbas said. “At the same time, I recognize Israel and it will recognize Israel. I reject violence and it will reject violence. I recognize the legitimacy of international agreements and it will recognize them. No one can call this a terrorist government.”
Abbas’s statements came as a surprise to Hamas, whose leaders rushed to deny any intention to renounce terrorism or recognize Israel’s right to exist. [...]
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