The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority signed a preliminary unity deal with Hamas and 11 other factions in Egypt on Tuesday, one day after the terrorist organization mourned the elimination Osama Bin Laden. A formal ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on the eve of an official visit to France and Britain, called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to reverse the unity course. He is scheduled to explain to his host countries that peace cannot be made with a unity government that includes a party calling for the destruction of Israel, a formal policy of Hamas.
Khaled Mashaal, the number one leader of Hamas and who has been living in Syria since being exiled from Jordan years ago, arrived in Egypt on Sunday as Fatah and Hamas try to iron out differences over the future of a unity government.
Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations were present for the signing, but Abbas opted to send a representative for the preliminaries. He is scheduled to arrive for the formal signing ceremony Wednesday.
Hamas and Fatah split after a bloody war between their terrorist militias four years ago in Gaza, where de facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh wrested power from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas has presented himself as a “peace partner” for Israel while refusing to negotiate his demands for creating the PA as a new Arab country within Israel’s current borders. Hamas has refused Western insistence that it renounce terror and recognize Israel, which Abbas has done only unofficially while PA media and schools spread a message that all of Israel is “Palestine.”
"We won’t recognize the Zionist entity. Our rights are still usurped and it’s illogical for us to recognize the Zionist entity because that would be at the expense of our stolen lands and our people in the refugee camps,” said Mashaal’s deputy Musa Abu Marzouk.
“Most of the Arab countries don’t recognize Israel, and yet they continue to deal with the international community,” he added.
The unity agreement calls for new elections next year and the integration of Hamas’ army into the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority army and security forces. One point of contention is the Hamas’ condition that a Gaza resident serve as the next prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.