In an interview Friday on Channel 2 in Israel, Abbas said Hamas is "part of he Palestinian people," The Jerusalem Post reported.
"Whether they accept [Israel] or not, they are our opposition," he said. "Every country around the world has an opposition, right?"
Abbas, who asked the United Nations this fall for recognition, said the authority wants to negotiate with Israel.
"We have to negotiate with the Israelis peacefully," he explained. "This is our ideology. This is our mentality. This is the culture of the Palestinians. We are not ready to turn back to violence."
Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, has asked for a condemnation of the rockets launched into Israel from Gaza. In a letter Thursday to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, Prosor said Hamas is clearly in control in Gaza.