"No recognition - no negotiations"
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Yesterday the Palestinian Authority Fatah movement and Hamas reached a reconciliation and unification agreement, even though Hamas did not agree to recognize Israel. Israel has condemned the PA saying they have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas.
The following are PA Fatah and Hamas reactions:
"Fatah and Hamas announced yesterday that they have reached a reconciliation agreement that there will be a transition government that will be responsible for preparing elections to the presidency and parliament that will take place within a year ... Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said, 'The Palestinian Authority has to choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. Peace is impossible with both of them. Hamas is trying to destroy Israel, and sends missiles on our cities and our children.'
[The deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, Musa] Abu Marzuq clarified that during the negotiations between Fatah and Hamas in the last year and a half, there were 'discussions on the topic of the political platform of the unity government, and the argument was about the conditions of the Quartet. Now the Quartet is obsolete, as well as its conditions, and we did not mention [the Quartet] or its conditions in the agreement that was reached.'
[Hamas leader] Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that the political platform of Hamas is 'no recognition [of Israel] and no negotiations.' He said that he's sure that the disagreements between Hamas and Fatah regarding the peace process will not affect the functioning of the government that will be established by this agreement, because the purpose of this government is only to handle internal Palestinian issues...
A spokesman for President Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said, 'In response to Netanyahu's statements, we say that the Palestinian reconciliation and the agreement that was signed today in Cairo are internal Palestinian issues."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 28, 2011]