Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon said on Saturday that Hamas signed the unity agreement with Fatah out of weakness and that it should not be believed that they are moderating their extreme views toward Israel. Ya'alon's comments came at a cultural event in Beersheba.

The former IDF chief of General Staff said that Israel's improved ability to defend itself, namely, the recently deployed "Iron Dome" anti-rocket system contributed to the Gaza leadership's decision to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority.

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"When [Hamas] is under pressure they can compromise temporarily. Hamas went to reconciliation out of weakness. They are facing great criticism from within," Ya'alon stated.

He added that Israel should not "delude" itself into thinking that the agreement between the Palestinian factions is a real reconciliation.

"Abu Mazen is going to control Gaza and empty it of rockets? Will he allow Hamas to enter the West Bank? If he does this, there will be a 'Hamastan' there," Ya'alon said.

Earlier on Saturday, Hamas leader in Damascus Khaled Mashaal told the Wall Street Journal that Hamas would consult with more moderate Palestinian groups before  making future decisions about its resistance to Israel.

Mashaal's comments suggest that, if he adheres to his promise, Hamas will no longer launch attacks against Israel without the prior agreement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Journal stated.

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