Egypt's foreign minister Amr Moussa told reporters Wednesday that Hamas must recognize Israel if the group plans to move forward in establishing a Palestinian state, according to Agence France Presse.
“I believe that Hamas should declare its acceptance of the Arab initiative of 2002, which is the map of normalization and recognition of the state of Israel together with the establishing of the Palestinian state and the withdrawal of the occupied territory. If Hamas does do this, it would be a major step in the direction of formulating a favorable all-Palestinian policy towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Moussa stated.
Moussa's commentary comes days after Hamas and its rival Fatah counterpart signed a unity deal in Gaza that aims to end the divides within the Palestinian leadership and form "an independent government" for all Palestinians.
However, Hamas has insisted it will still not recognize the state of Israel-deal or no deal.
“We will not recognize the Zionist entity,” deputy Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzuq told a press conference in Gaza City.
As could be expected, the deal immediately created frustration among Israeli leadership, especially after Hamas leadership insisted that they would still never recognize the state of Israel. Tel Aviv ended peace talks with Palestinian counterparts shortly after the announcement of the Gaza agreement.
The deal particularly created a stir among Egyptian leadership due to the fact that Hamas is considered an offshoot of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Cairo has further revoked Hamas' members citizenship in Egypt.
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