Abbas criticises Hamas leader for not recognising Israel

Khaled Mashaal, left, in Gaza on Friday December 7 with the Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AP)

Khaled Mashaal, left, in Gaza on Friday December 7 with the Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmous Abbas has criticised Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal for saying that the terrorist organisation would never recognise the state of Israel, a Turkish newspaper has reported.

Mr Abbas, who has just spent two days in Turkey, is understood to have told The Hurriyet: “I don’t agree with Khaled Mashaal’s statement on the non-recognition of Israel because we, in fact, recognised it in 1993.”

He clarified: “A four-article agreement between [Fatah and Hamas] stipulates a two-state vision. And Mashaal approved of this agreement.”

Israeli politician Tzipi Livni spoke to Mr Abbas shortly after these remarks were reported in Turkey and said: "It is important that the public will hear messages like this, and not lose hope in an agreement."

Mr Mashaal, the main leader of Hamas has been living in exile and visited Gaza for the first time ever on Friday. Speaking at a rally in Gaza City on Saturday marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, he said: “Palestine from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, is our land and we will never give up one inch or any part of it.”

Last updated: 10:29am, December 13 2012