J'lem: No 'Gaza mega-deal' with Hamas

PMO sources: From our point of view, bringing Hamas into the process could destroy the peace process.

Binyamin Netanyahu 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Binyamin Netanyahu 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Regarding reports of an Egyptian-initiated mega-agreement for Gaza - which would include a national reconciliation Palestinian government, opening the passages into the Strip, a deal for the release of Gilad Schalit, and international forces inside Gaza - sources inside the Prime Minister's Office stressed Sunday that from Israel's point of view Hamas needed to be seen as a force opposed to peace and reconciliation. "From our point of view, bringing Hamas into the process could well destroy the process," the official said. "We don't support the work of some international actors who are trying to bring Hamas into the Palestinian government. We think such a move would be counterproductive in the extreme." The official said that Israel would optimally like to see the Palestinian Authority regain control of the Gaza Strip. Anything that would give legitimacy to any type of Hamas control in Gaza would be a negative development," the source said. He added that there was little concern in Israel that Fatah and Hamas would reconcile any time soon. Independent of the reported Egyptian mega-agreement, the source said Israel was in continuous discussion with various countries about the Gaza crossings issue. Nevertheless, the cabinet earlier this month tied opening the crossings - as did the previous Olmert government - to the release of Schalit.