Abbas aide: 'Unworkable' for Hamas to recognise Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, May 4, 2011
Hamas members

Hamas members

A Palestinian official close to President Mahmoud Abbas has called the demand that Hamas recognises Israel's right to exist "unfair".

Mr Abbas's government is set officially to sign a reconciliation agreement with Hamas later today in Cairo, despite the terrorist organisation's continued refusal to fulfil US and Middle East Quartet demands to renounce violence and recognise the principle of Israel's legitimacy.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Shaath told Israel Radio that the requirements were "unfair, unworkable and [did] not make sense"."

He said all that was necessary was for Hamas to "refrain from any violence ... and be interested in the peace process".

On Tuesday Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to Fatah "to choose the way of peace" and block the deal.

Last updated: 9:41am, May 4 2011