Palestinian Gov't: Remove Hamas from Terror List

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JERUSALEM, Israel - The Palestinian Authority wants the United States and European Union to remove Hamas from its list of terror organizations to facilitate the formation of a P.A. unity government.

"We are seeking to have Hamas removed from the list of terror organizations," former P.A. Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath told reporters in Cairo following a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

Moussa has recently indicated he may be interested in  running for president of Egypt when elections are held.

"We want E.U. countries to recognize a Palestinian unity government that would include Hamas and other factions," Sha'ath said, without specifying which "other factions."

"The current circumstances require us to reorganize our Palestinian home," said Sha'ath, who may be serving as the P.A.'s lead negotiator following the resignation of Saeb Erekat last month.

"I have announced several times that we have accepted the Egyptian initiative. We have agreed to a national unity government that would implement the Egyptian document and prepare for elections," he said.

Sha'ath was referring to a document produced by Egyptian mediators and presented to Fatah and Hamas in 2009. 

According to Sha'ath, Fatah agreed to the changes stipulated by Hamas and doesn't understand the delay.

"This is a question that every Palestinian and Arab should be asking," Sha'ath told the press. "My fear is that Hamas' calculations about the Arab revolts are different than ours."

"We see these revolutions' main demand is unity and support for Palestinian rights," he added.

Last September, just after the P.A. agreed to restart direct talks with Israel, Sha'ath told reporters in Ramallah the Palestinians would never recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

"Such a declaration would directly threaten the Muslims and Christians in Israel and prevent Palestinian refugees, who left their homes and villages a number of decades ago, from being granted the right to return to them," Sha'ath said.

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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