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Fatah: No need to end violence
By
June 17, 2010 02:17
PA will not demand that Hamas recognize Israel.

The Palestinian Authority is not demanding that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist or accept any of the Quartet’s demands, including the renunciation of violence, as a condition for the establishment of a Palestinian unity government, Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah official and former PA foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Asked to comment on claims by Hamas that the PA was demanding that the Islamist movement recognize Israel’s right to exist as a condition for achieving reconciliation between the two parties, Shaath said: “This is completely untrue. We have never asked Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Nor have we demanded that they accept the conditions of the Quartet.”



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The Quartet has repeatedly demanded that any Palestinian government renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist and respect previous agreements between the PLO and Israel as a condition for receiving Western aid.

Shaath, in an interview with the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour, explained that the PA was only demanding that Hamas allow it to conduct peace talks with Israel.

“We want the proposed unity government to be committed to the PLO’s political program, as was the case with the unity government under Ismail Haniyeh,” he said.

“The peace negotiations will be conducted by the PLO. That’s all we’re demanding.”

Shaath said that he has been urging European governments to drop their demand that Hamas accept the Quartet’s three conditions.

“All the Arab and Islamic states that don’t recognize Israel have agreed to the Arab Peace Initiative,” he noted.

“Acceptance of the initiative and a cease-fire [with Israel] is therefore sufficient.”

Shaath claimed that there was a difference between Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and those in Syria.

“Although there's a big difference between the two, I’m optimistic and I believe that it’s now possible to break the siege on the Gaza Strip and achieve Palestinian unity.”
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