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Hamas says it will not recognize Israel

April 28, 2011 at 7:32 AM   |   Comments

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JERUSALEM, April 28 (UPI) -- Senior Hamas official Mahmoud a-Zahar said a new unity government with Fatah will not recognize Israel or participate in peace negotiations.

"Our program does not include negotiations with Israel or recognizing it. It will not be possible for the interim national government to participate or bet or work on the peace process with Israel," Ynetnews.com quoted a-Zahar as saying hours after Hamas and Fatah told a Cairo press conference Wednesday of plans to establish a unity government.

The unity deal will promote Palestinian interests that are "more important than peace with Israel," Tawfik Tirawi a senior Fatah official told Ynetnews.com Thursday.

Israel Radio said the first Palestinian official to pay the price of the future unity government is Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who will not be asked to continue.

As part of the Fatah-Hamas agreement hundreds of Hamas prisoners will be released by the Palestinian Authority, posing a direct threat on Israel's security, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio.

"A red line has been crossed and Israel must decide what we are going to do," Lieberman said.

The reconciliation stems from concerns Hamas has about the possible toppling of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and the weakening position of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he said.

Lieberman called on the international community to enforce demands the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel, abandon terror and respect previous agreements with Israel.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi welcomed the decision describing it as an "auspicious and positive move" Press TV said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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