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Netanyahu and Abbas (Archive)
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO
PM urges Abbas to cancel Hamas agreement
Netanyahu continues to press Palestinian president day before formal signing of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal
Nearly a week after sending a strong message to the Palestinian Authority following reports of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to cancel the accord and choose peace with Israel.

 

In a meeting with Quartet envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair, Netanyahu said that the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian factions was a major blow to the peace process. "How can one reach peace with a government half of which is calling for Israel's destruction and even praises arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden?" he said.

 

Meanwhile, representatives of the Palestinian factions and independent elements signed a draft agreement in Cairo on Tuesday. Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Egyptian intelligence chief Murad Muwafi attended the signing. The official signing ceremony will be held on Wednesday and will be attended both by Mashaal and Abbas.

 

Hamas on Monday condemned the killing by US forces of Osama bin Laden and mourned him as an "Arab holy warrior" while Iran condemned "Zionist terror" and a US national security official told Reuters the mission of the special forces team that hunted down the terrorist had been to kill him.

 

Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, told reporters that the group regards bin Laden's death "as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood."

 

Elior Levy contributed to this report

 

 

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