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Netanyahu to Europe to garner support

May 3, 2011 at 6:22 AM
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JERUSALEM, May 3 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to England and France to persuade leaders against supporting a unilateral call for Palestinian statehood.

Netanyahu will also attempt to convince European leaders not to support the Palestinian Authority's proposed partnership with Hamas, The Jerusalem Post said.

An Israeli government official told the newspaper that Hamas "has shown its true colors" after it condemned the United States for killing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

"The illusion that Hamas is moderate should be abandoned in the dust heap of history," the official told the paper.

On Wednesday Netanyahu is to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron and on Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Israeli prime minister's meeting with the British leader occurs as Fatah and Hamas officials in Cairo sign an agreement cementing the reconciliation in preparation for a unity government.

Netanyahu's trip was scheduled to focus on convincing the two European leaders against supporting a unilateral bid for Palestinian statehood at the U.N. General Assembly in September, the newspaper said, but his agenda was expanded due to recent events.

Netanyahu will also discuss regional events and the Iranian nuclear threat, the newspaper said.

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