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Netanyahu Demands Palestinians Recognize Israel, Disarm Hamas

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MAHMUD HAMS

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh has said that everyone has the right to own resistance arms, adding that that his movement has closed the chapter of internal division forever, Rassd.com reported yesterday.

"All control needs to be in the hands of the PA", said Abbas.

Speaking at a conference of the ruling Likud Party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out accepting the Palestinian unity government, should one ultimately come into place as a result of ongoing negotiations among Palestinian factions. The Cabinet members later went to the offices of each of their ministries to formally assume control from Hamas.

Hamas, which the United States and many other countries list as a terrorist organisation, increased its power over the Israeli-Egyptian blockaded Gaza strip after military confrontations with its rival Fatah, who hold power in the occupied West Bank, in 2007 following the groups electoral victory in the coastal enclave.

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He said Egypt is going to invite Fatah and Hamas to Cairo in the near future to discuss the developments so far and to prepare for a wider meeting for all the factions involved in signing the May 4, 2011 Cairo reconciliation agreement in order to start implementing its terms.

Gaza, which sits on the Mediterranean coast and is fenced in by heavily patrolled barriers on three sides bordering Israel and Egypt, has been a frequent battleground over the past decade, during which Hamas has fought three wars with Israel and thousands of Gazans have been killed.

Fawzy traveled to Gaza to meet the Palestinian government, following a meeting in Ramallah with Abbas. "We expect everyone who talks about a peace process to recognize the State of Israel and, of course, the Jewish state", Netanyahu said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah vowed Wednesday to boost economic growth in Gaza Strip, in a meeting with dozens of businessmen from Gaza.

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