Two ministers in the Hamas-led unity coalition said on Saturday that although there is no explicit recognition of Israel in the political program of the government, such recognition is evident in the fact that it has pledged to respect agreements reached with Israel in the past. "I think this is a very moderate political program," said Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr, an independent academic from the Gaza Strip. "I think it addresses every single condition of the Quartet. There is no reason whatsoever for any country, after this political program is embraced by the new Palestinian government, to continue with the boycott."
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Abu Amr told The Jerusalem Post the platform constituted an implicit recognition of Israel.
"The recognition of Israel is included in the various articles of the program," he said. "The program talks about honoring signed agreements that include the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, as well as the Oslo Accords. I don't think there is any excuse now to continue the boycott."
Abu Amr expressed hope that the US administration and the Europeans would reconsider their policy toward the Palestinians. "We expect members of the international community and Washington to review their old position, to change it and to start dealing with the new government," he said. "I think the Palestinians have made so many steps forward and we expect reciprocity."
PA Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Independent Palestine list, told the Post the government's political program was "very progressive."
The program, he said, placed great emphasis on the rights of women and respecting international and humanitarian laws. "This is a government that must be accepted and dealt with by the entire international community, if there is justice in this world," he said.
"We are recognizing and accepting and honoring the existing agreements. The president [Abbas] is assigned - and will be supported - by the government to negotiate with Israel. This government says that our goal is the establishment of an independent, sovereign and democratic Palestinian state in the 1967 borders.
"If Israel wants recognition, it has to recognize the Palestinians as well. Today there is no excuse for anybody not to accept the government unless they want us to remain slaves of occupation and Israel, which will never happen.
"The question is why all these conditions on Palestinians, who are the oppressed party, while no conditions are put on Israel, which is not respecting any existing agreements. The world must be just and that means a fair attitude and stopping the bias to Israel," Barghouti said.