Abbas: Hamas’ Mashal already recognized Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rapped Khaled Meshal for saying Hamas would never recognize Israel, saying the Hamas political chief had already done so nearly a decade ago.

Abbas, who heads Fatah, at a news conference Thursday in Turkey pointed to a 1993 Hamas-Fatah agreement.

“I don’t agree with Khaled Mashal’s statement on the non-recognition of Israel because we, in fact, recognized it in 1993,” Abbas said, according to Turkish news service Hurriyet. “A four-article agreement between Fatah and Hamas stipulates a two-state vision. And Mashal approved of this agreement.”

Mashal on Dec. 8 during his first-ever visit to Gaza said the Palestinians would never recognize Israel, that Israel has “no right to Jerusalem,” and that “liberating Palestine, all of Palestine, is a duty, a right and a goal.”

He was speaking in Gaza City during celebrations marking Hamas’ 25th anniversary. Mashal has been living in exile in Syria for a decade.

Need to know? Sign up now to get JTA’s free e-newsletters!

Click to write a letter to the editor.