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Egyptian Official Denies Saying Hamas Should Recognize Israel

Egypt’s former foreign minister denies quotes attributed to him that Hamas must recognize Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/20/2014, 5:12 AM

Amr Moussa
Amr Moussa
Flash 90

Egypt’s former foreign minister, Amr Moussa, denied on Monday that he had said that Hamas must recognize Israel, Al Ahram reported.

AFP several weeks ago quoted Moussa as having said that Hamas must recognize the existence of Israel in order to make it possible to move forward with a Palestinian state.

"It is normal for the Palestinians to reconcile," the quote attributed to Moussa said, referring to the unity deal struck between Hamas and its longtime rival Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

However, he added, “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.”

On Monday, Moussa’s spokesman clarified that some of the signatories to the 2002 initiative do not recognize Israel and that there's no association between the two.

The spokesman also stated that Moussa reiterates his calls for Hamas to accept the 2002 Arab initiative, as Arab states and institutions have done.

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 demands that Israel withdraw completely from Judea and Samaria, at which point the 22 Arab countries would supposedly normalize relations with Israel.

There have been called on Hamas to recognize Israel, particularly since it signed the unity deal with Fatah, which stipulates that two sides would work together to form an "independent government" of technocrats, to be headed by Abbas, that would pave the way for long-delayed elections.

Susan Rice, U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, recently told Abbas that “any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.”

Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and its deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk has ruled out the possibility that Hamas will recognize “the Zionist entity,” even after the unity pact with Fatah.