Israeli Minister predicts possible agreement with Hamas
Hamas and Fatah recently agreed to a deal to form a unity government after negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis failed. (photo courtesy: theguardian.com)
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Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid believes negotiations between Israel and Hamas are still possible, despite what other members of the coalition, such as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, believe.
In a conversation with the Wall Street Journal, Lapid answered the question as to whether or not talks with the terror group would ever be possible, replying "It's not like it didn't happen before."
The Yesh Atid chairman continued by saying that "the PLO used to be a terror organization," insinuating his openness to change in organizations and the possibility that in the future, talks between Israel and Hamas may be possible.
Lapid's statements werecontradictory to many other government officials, who have publicly ruled out any discussions with Hamas and Fatah after the factions signed a unity agreement.
Following the agreement, the EU issued a statement supporting Palestinian reconciliation and unity, but Netanyahu was defiant that Israel would not deal with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.
Netanyahu said both he and US Secretary of State John Kerry were “absolutely stupefied” that PA President Mahmoud Abbas embraced Hamas.
Lapid's spokeswoman on Saturday clarified his statement, saying that Lapid told the Wall Street Journal that he is only open to talks with Hamas if they were to denounce terror, recognize Israel's existence and accept previous agreements.
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