A senior member of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' government admitted on Tuesday that none of the major Palestinian parties recognize Israel's right to exist, so neither should Hamas have to do so in order to be part of an internationally-recognized Palestinian unity government.
Speaking on Palestinian Authority-controlled television, former Gaza strongman and senior advisor to Abbas, Mohammed Dahlan stated:
"I want to say for the thousandth time, in my own name and in the name of all of my fellow members of the Fatah movement: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel even today."
Dahlan said that only the shell of the Palestinian Authority government pretends to "recognize" Israel in order to receive international financial aid. But the parties themselves do not and are under no obligation to recognize the Jewish state.
While the international community demands that Hamas recognize Israel if it wants to be an official party to the peace process, whether or not Abbas and his Fatah faction actually meet that requirement has long been ignored, despite officials like Dahlan repeatedly trying to make their position clear.
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