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Mashaal
Photo: AP
צילום: איי פי
Lavrov
Photo: AP
Russian FM: Hamas promises end of attacks against Israel
Lavrov says Mashaal agreed to use Palestinian government's authority to stop violence including missile attacks against Israel. However, Hamas chief states group is not ready to recognize Israel

The supreme leader of Hamas has promised that the group will end missile attacks and other violence against Israel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday.

 

"Hamas should use its authority to stop violence including missile attacks against Israel," Lavrov said at a news conference after his meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

 

"We received confirmation that such steps will be taken," Lavrov said.

 

However, Mashaal said at a separate news conference that the group is not ready to recognize Israel.

Renouncing violence and recognizing Israel are both key demands of international peace negotiators.

 

"First of all, Israel has to end its occupation of Palestinian territory and put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people," Mashaal said when asked about the recognition issue. "When Israel does that, the Palestinian people will make their position clear."

 

In remarks before his morning meeting with Mashaal, Lavrov called for international support for the power-sharing arrangement between Hamas and Fatah and for lifting an international financial aid blockade against the Palestinian Authority.

 

However, the Quartet of Middle East peace brokers, which includes Russia, has said recognizing Israel is a key condition for resuming aid. It was not immediately clear if Russia's expression of support for the Hamas-Fatah power-sharing agreement meant it was stepping back from the Quartet demands.

 

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