Abbas with Hamas official Mashaal
Obama addressed AIPAC
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded late Sunday to US President Barack Obama's speech before AIPAC, during which he supported Israel's stance that Fatah's reconciliation with the terror group Hamas "poses an enormous obstacle to peace".
"Hamas is part of Palestinian society, and will take part in the democratic game as opposition," he was quoted by Jordanian news agencies as saying during a press conference with the state's prime minister, Marouf Bakhit.
Abbas says the new Palestinian unity government, which will include "independent" ministers, will handle talks with Israel. However the Palestinian Authority has not yet announced the new government's composition.
But the Palestinian president stressed that the PA's plan to declare its independence at September's UN General Assembly is "not an attempt to isolate Israel".
Meanwhile spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri responded to US President Barack Obama AIPAC speech Sunday, saying that "the American government has failed in the past, and will continue to fail in its attempt to convince Hamas to recognize the Israeli occupation".
"They have a clear preference for Israel, at the expense of the freedom of the Palestinian people and its right for self-definition and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state," he said.
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