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article imageNetanyahu: PA's choice is peace with Israel or unity with Hamas

By Paul Iddon     Apr 23, 2014 in Politics
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must decide whether he wants reconciliation with Hamas more than he wants peace with Israel.
The Jerusalem Post informs us that Mr. Netanyahu made these comments while meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who is on a visit to Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu outlined his simple view on the matter when he stated, "He [Abbas] must choose. Does he want reconciliation with Hamas, or peace with Israel? Only one is attainable, not both. I hope he chooses peace, until now has not done so."
Haaretz today quoted a member of Abbas's delegation to Hamas in the Gaza Strip stating that on the reconciliation deal, "There has been great progress, and we are near ready to sign a deal."
Hamas's spokesman Sami Abu Zahawiri has made similar statements. Apparently the two sides have agreed on most issues discussed, including the holding of elections in six months under the auspices of a Palestinian Authority/Fatah-Hamas unity government headed by Mr. Abbas.
The implementation (according to this report in today's Jerusalem Post) of such a unity government will take place five weeks from now.
Issues they haven't agreed upon include the future of Hamas's armed wing which the militia created following its total seizure of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Al Jazeera has also quoted the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh saying that, "The current phase is the phase of implementing what was signed in the past, not making dialogues to reach new understandings," before adding that, "We are in the final hours."
Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad echoed these sentiments, he said he is happy that Fatah and Hamas are taking firm steps to "end the ugly split."
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