Netanyahu Opposes PA-Hamas Coalition

Ad Feedback—JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister-Designate Benjamin Netanyahu will try to convince US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrives here next week, that recognizing a Palestinian unity coalition between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas is bad for both Israel and the Middle East.  The PA and Hamas are holding talks in Egypt in an effort to reconcile differences between the two parties. 

Pressure from the international community, especially in Europe and some Arab states, is building to grant some form of recognition to Hamas, which has been on the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations for two decades.

The Hamas charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel, and states that that the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is the land of Palestine.

Advisors to Netanyahu warn that a coalition between "moderates" and extremists most often leads to a takeover by the extremists.  Some Israeli security experts are concerned that if Palestinian elections are held some time in the next year, Hamas would win in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The international community has traditionally opposed any overtures or recognition of Hamas until it does three things:  recognize Israel's right to exist, abandon terrorism, and accept agreements made between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu advisor Zalman Shoval believes isolation of Hamas remains the best policy.  He's concerned that the Obama Administration may try to change the longstanding US opposition to Hamas.  "I'm not saying we can prevent it, but we should try," Shoval said.

Source:  The Jerusalem Post

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