Egypt: PA Will Recognize Israel on Condition of Direct Talks

The Hamas terrorist group that heads the PA government will recognize Israel if Jerusalem agrees to talks with its leaders, said an Egyptian official Monday -negating all Hamas declarations to date.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 10:44 PM

Osama al-Baz, a political advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said that an unnamed Hamas leader told him, "How can we recognize Israel when it refuses to sit with us at the negotiating table and when they refuse to recognize us?"

According to Cairo's semi-official Middle East News Agency, al-Baz said that an initiative by Israel might be met with recognition of the Jewish state - an act that Hamas has vowed it would never carry out.

While Egyptian officials were trying to emphasize the need for direct talks between Israel and Hamas in order to advance negotiations between the Jewish State and the PA, the militia war in Gaza claimed three more lives on Monday, and one on Tuesday.

A leading Hamas man was killed Tuesday as he walked out of a mosque in Khan Yunis, near what used to be N'vei Dekalim in southern Gaza. This, despite news of a ceasefire reached between Hamas and Fatah negotiators Monday night.

A loud explosion was heard near the home of Hamas PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh Monday night, apparently aimed at him. Haniyeh was unhurt.

Heavy exchanges of gunfire between Fatah and Hamas supporters were also reported earlier in the evening, and a rocket propelled grenade was fired on the Gaza police station a few hours later. More than 30 have been killed since the latest outbreak of fighting that began Thursday.

Germany, acting in its position as head of the European Union (EU), has called on Hamas and Fatah leaders to make peace and cease the escalating violence. The EU issued a statement which said it is “extremely worried” about the growing violence in the PA.

More than 60 people, including several children, have been killed in the militia war that broke out in December.