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Israel Rejects Proposed Hamas-PA Coalition

Israel rejected Saturday night as "unacceptable" a formal PA proposal to Hamas terrorists to join its cabinet. The terrorist organization is holding out and has not yet responded.
First Publish: 7/3/2005, 6:50 AM / Last Update: 7/3/2005, 3:11 AM

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) "is committed to disarming all the terrorist groups. We're hopeful that he will follow through on this commitment," Foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization responsible for countless acts of senseless violence against innocent civilians [and] is no partner for us in any sort of political process."

Abu Mazen asked Hamas to join the cabinet after he rejected the terrorists' demand that they be given more power in Gaza, where Hamas has established itself as a rival
authority to the PA. Abu Mazen's office stated Saturday that Hamas' joining the cabinet would help ensure a peaceful transition after the planned Israeli evacuation of Jewish residents and withdrawal of IDF troops this summer.

Hamas has not responded to the proposal, which it rejected two months ago when Abu Mazen refused a Hamas demand that he hold legislative elections as scheduled. The PA postponed the vote for new legislators because it feared Hamas will win impressive support following victories in local elections earlier this year.

Islamic Jihad terror leaders rejected outright any coalition.