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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Netanyahu rejects Palestinian reconciliation unless Hamas disarms

AFP , Tuesday 3 Oct 2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on October 1, 2017 (Photo: AFP)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Israel would reject any reconciliation deal between the two leading Palestinian factions unless the Iran-backed Islamist movement Hamas disarmed.

"We are not prepared to accept bogus reconciliations in which the Palestinian side apparently reconciles at the expense of our existence," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"Whoever wants to make such a reconciliation, our understanding is very clear: recognise the State of Israel, disband the Hamas military arm, sever the connection with Iran -- which calls for our destruction," Netanyahu added.

Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah began a three-day visit to Gaza on Monday as the two leading factions seek a reconciliation deal that could lead to a unity government.

Unlike Hamas, the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority (PA) has signed a peace deal with Israel, which launched three military offensives against Gaza since 2008.

Hamas maintains a major military wing and senior officials have downplayed the idea of disarming in any reconciliation deal.

However PA president Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview on Monday there would be "one state, one system, one law and one weapon" -- in an apparent reference to Hamas's military wing.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.


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