Amr Moussa Urges Hamas: If You Want a State, Recognize Israel

Ex-Egyptian foreign minster and Arab League secretary-general says that, following recent Palestinian unity deal, recognizing Israel would be major step in resolving the conflict.

Amr Moussa.
Amr Moussa. AP

Egypt's former foreign minister and Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa has urged Hamas to recognize Israel if it hopes to establish a Palestinian state.

“It is normal for the Palestinians to reconcile,” Moussa said, in reference to the recent unity deal between Hamas and Fatah, according to an AFP report.

However, he added, “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 from the occupied territory."

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

The Palestinian factions signed a historic reconciliation deal last month, nearly seven years after a schism between Hamas and Fatah.

It doesn't look like Hamas will change its tune on recognizing Israel anytime soon, however. Earlier this week, deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk told a press conference in Gaza City that Hamas would never recognize Israel. “We will not recognize the Zionist entity,” he said.