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Fatah leader: Fatah still refuses to recognize Israel

When Western countries met last month to pledge billions of dollars in funding to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, they stressed that Hamas would not receive funding until it recognized Israel. However, a senior Fatah leader, Muhammad Dahlan, admitted yesterday on Palestinian Authority television that Fatah - just like Hamas - still does not recognize Israel.

Muhammad Dahlan, senior Fatah leader: "They [Hamas] always say that the Fatah movement wants Hamas to recognize Israel. This is a gross deception. I want to say for the thousandth time, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today. I maintain the position of the Hamas and of the Fatah not to recognize Israel, but the [PA] government is required to offer medical treatment, to make education easier. It's required of the government [to recognize Israel] but not of the Fatah, so that this goverment will be able to offer the necessary assistance, to carry out the necessary reconstruction... This can be dealt with [only] by a government that has relations with the international community, one that is acceptable to the international community, in order that we can work together and benefit from the international community."

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