Top Egyptian official: Hamas must recognize Israel

Palestinian mourners wave the green flag of the Islamist movement Hamas at a funeral on April 30, 2014, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Hamas must recognize the existence of Israel if the Palestinians are to move forward with their hopes of establishing their own state, former Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa said Wednesday.

“It is normal for the Palestinians to reconcile,” Moussa said of a recent unity deal struck between the Hamas militants who run the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

However, “I believe that Hamas should declare its acceptance of the Arab initiative of 2002, which is the map of normalization and recognition of the state of Israel together with the establishing of the Palestinian state and the withdrawal of the occupied territory,” he insisted.

“If Hamas does do this, it would be a major step in the direction of formulating a favorable all-Palestinian policy towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

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