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PA State Would Be Iranian Proxy, Says Min. Shalom

Deputy PM Silvan Shalom says PA state would be Iranian proxy; Vice Premier Yaalon says Fatah-Hamas deal won't last; Hamas doubts statehood bid.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/11/2011, 8:46 PM / Last Update: 5/11/2011, 8:58 PM

Flash 90

Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told the Knesset on Wednesday recognition of a PA state would put Iran on Israel's front door.

During a special session of the knesset on the recent Fatah-Hamas unity agreement Shalom said the integration of Hamas into the PA would render any future PA state an Iranian proxy.

"We are in the midst of a war between the West and Iran for control of the Middle East region, which holds the world's oil reserves," Shalom said. "A Hamas state will constitute another Iranian proxy in this region."

"We must make clear to the world that if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state in September 2011," Shalom said. "It could find in January 2012 it has sponsored another Iranian entity in the Middle East."

Shalom, referring to Israel's decision to withhold tax revenues from the PA, said the PA wanted to have it both ways.

"They [Fatah] wants a situation in which Hamas will participate in PA elections without accepting the Quartet's conditions, which are also the Olso Accords conditions, but demand we transfer funds to them despite violating previous agreements," Shalom said.

Yaalon: Fatah-Hamas Deal Won't Last
Vice premier Moshe Yaalon said the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement was the result of internal tensions.

"Hamas could not afford for Fatah to get full credit for international recognition of a Palestinian state," Yaalon said. "But Abu Mazen wants it to continue to appear that Salam Fayyad is leading the initiative."

For two years the Palestinian Authority has refused to sit at the negotiating table," he added. "The agreement with Hamas again reveals their true face. The world must not rush for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state before PA elections in 2012."

Yaalon expressed doubts about the longevity of the Fatah-Hamas accord: "Will Abbas take control of the Gaza Strip and empty it from rockets? Will he allow Hamas to enter Judea and Samaria?"

"If he does, the place will turn into Hamastan," Yaalon said.

Hamas Doubts Viability of Statehood Bid
Hamas officials have expressed doubts over the viability of the PA's pursuit of a unilateral declaration of a PA state by the UN in September, however.

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Maan news agency Wednesday "all the talk of a Palestinian state is… an attempt to pacify us."

Zahar wondered what a PA state would look like if declared in September: "Where is the land for this state? Are those living in the West Bank and Gaza to be its citizens? What will be the fate of the five million Palestinians in the diaspora? Are we to give up the right of return?"

Zahar also scoffed at the idea the international community would accept a PA state that did not first recognize Israel.

"Anyone who believes that does not understand the (political) landscape," Zahar said.

On Wednesday Zahar said Hamas would never recognize Israel and any preace agreement would be a prelude to war.