Hamas Claims to be 'Open to Recognizing State of Israel'
Hamas and Fatah attempted to reassure the international community over jitters about its unity pact on Saturday, with officials from both Palestinian Arab group claiming that Hamas "is not a terror organization" and is "open to recognizing Israel."
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas first made the claims Saturday, in an address to the PLO's Central Council in Ramallah.
“Any government formed would comply with our national agreements . . . to recognize the State of Israel and renounce terror," Abbas said, noting that Israel is still negotiating with the PA.
Hamas officials later made steps to confirm Abbas's claims. According to the Washington Post, Hamas media advisor Taher al-Nunu, who works closely with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, stated that the terror organization "did not rule out" the possibility of recognizing Israel - but only in the context of a successful unity pact with Fatah to form a government.
Hamas has vowed never to recognize Israel's existence on multiple occasions.
"We had two wars in which hundreds of people died, and thousands of acres of land were destroyed, but Palestinians did not and will not recognize Israel," Haniyeh said in June, as he welcomed international activists to Gaza.
In 2012, the terrorist leader made similar remarks during an official visit to Tehran.
“They want us to recognize the Israeli occupation and cease resistance but, as the representative of the Palestinian people and in the name of all the world's freedom seekers... we will never recognize Israel," Haniyeh stated.