Hamas-Fatah reconciliation infuriates Israel

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Hamas leader Khaled Meshal (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands before their meeting in Cairo 21 December 2011 (photo: Mohamed Al Hams - REUTERS)

Published Friday, December 23, 2011

The latest move by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to seal a reconciliation deal with Hamas drew an angry response from the Israeli government on Friday, with one minister calling for the complete annexation of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said the talks with Abbas in Cairo on Thursday were held in an “excellent atmosphere.”

The two men agreed on a process that would pave the way for Hamas to join the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization and the long delayed Palestinian elections.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, said the deal with the rulers of Gaza was proof that Abbas was not interested in peace.

"Hamas is not a political movement that resorts to terrorism but a group whose whole vocation is terrorism," Regev said.

"The closer President Abbas moves to Hamas, the further he moves away from peace."

Abbas has repeatedly stated that peace talks with Israel cannot continue while the Jewish state expands its illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Israel is speeding up construction of its illegal settlements in defiance of international law, which is proving to be the major obstacle to peace negotiations.

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks provoked Transport Minister Israel Katz, a hardliner from Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, to call for the complete annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank as it did in Arab east Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights.

"Israel must impose its sovereignty on all Jewish districts of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)," Katz told a public radio.

"This alarming rapprochement between Abu Mazen (Abbas) and Hamas is aimed at forming a government that one can only say is aimed at bringing about a genocide," he charged.

"Since the dark days of Nazism, no other movement has set as its aim the killing of Jews."

Hamas and Fatah have been negotiating how to implement an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement they signed in May, but differ on the best approach to represent Palestinian rights.

Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist as the Zionist state continues to deny Palestinians equal rights, and maintains an occupation of Palestinian territories.

Fatah, however, does recognize Israel's right to exist, and prefers a two-state solution on 1967 boundaries.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes in 1948 following the creation of the state of Israel on Palestinian land.

Israel has expressed mounting apprehension as the two rival Palestinian administrations intensified efforts to reconcile in recent weeks.

Israel firmly opposes any Palestinian reconciliation, and continues to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, while maintaining a siege on Gaza.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)


Anyone who uses the phrase "right to exist" is peddling the sleaziest zionist propaganda

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