Friday, June 23, 2006

Hamas recognises Israel

Reiterating what they said in their election campaigning, Hamas takes a further step recognising the State of Israel. From the Guardian via Common Dreams:

Hamas has made a major political climbdown by agreeing to sections of a document that recognise Israel's right to exist and a negotiated two-state solution, according to Palestinian leaders.

In a bitter struggle for power, Hamas is bowing to an ultimatum from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to endorse the document drawn up by Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, or face a national referendum on the issue that could see the Islamist group stripped of power if it loses.

But final agreement on the paper, designed to end international sanctions against the Hamas government that have crippled the Palestinian economy, has been slowed by wrangling over a national unity administration and the question of who speaks for the Palestinians.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee and a lead negotiator on the prisoners' document, said Hamas had agreed to sections which call for a negotiated and final agreement with Israel to establish a Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem.

"Hamas is prepared to accept those parts of the document because they think it is a way to get rid of a lot of its problems with the international community. That's why it will accept all the document eventually," he said.

Hamas, facing a deep internal split over recognition of the Jewish state, declined to discuss the negotiations in detail.

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