Hamas Would Abide By PLO Recognition Of Israel, Legislator Says -- Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Hamas will keep trying to join the Palestine Liberation Organization even though it would be required to honor the PLO's recognition of Israel, a lawmaker representing the militant Islamist group says.
Ahmad Attoun, elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council from east Jerusalem in 2006, said in an interview that Hamas wants to move beyond the unity agreement it struck in June with President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party to govern the West Bank and Gaza together. Joining the PLO would place it in the umbrella organization that determines foreign policy and is fighting for Palestine to be accepted as an independent state.
Israel condemned the Hamas-Fatah unity deal when it was first presented in April after the breakdown of peace talks brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry. The breach set the stage for the eruption of tensions with Israel that led to a 50-day military conflict in Gaza, leaving more than 2,100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis dead and the coastal territory devastated.
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My Comment: Ahmad Attoun's position has not been publicly backed by the Hamas leadership in Gaza or by the group's political chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar. But if this report is true it is a small opening .... correction .... a very very small opening .... that maybe (just maybe) .... a level of talks and discussions will start among Palestinian groups that they may need to pursue other strategies and policies that does not include violence in their decades long conflict with Israel.
Update: At least it is not their #1 option (so they say) .... AP Interview: Hamas No. 2 Says War a Lesser Option (ABC News)