U.S. partner might deny Israel’s right to exist

By Aaron Klein

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TEL AVIV – Hamas and the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority are studying the possibility of removing the Palestinian government from agreements that recognize the existence of Israel, WND has learned.

Both PA and Hamas officials confirmed that the possibility is being studied as part of reconciliation talks aimed at seeing Hamas enter the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, the main Palestinian governing body.

The PLO is currently dominated by PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, which is funded and armed by the U.S. and the international community.

Despite news media claims to the contrary, the PLO never formally recognized the existence of Israel. Nor did it officially amend a section of its charter that delegitimizes Israel.

Instead, late PLO Leader Yasser Arafat simply stated that a section of the PLO charter that calls for the destruction of Israel has been nullified. Arafat later put that statement in writing. However, according to PLO regulations, a vote of PLO members must first be taken to amend the charter. Such a vote was never held.

The section of the PLO charter in question also calls for a Palestinian “armed struggle” against Israel, while denying the existence of a Jewish people with a historical or religious connection to the land of Israel.

Still, as part of the 1998 Wye River Accords, Arafat committed the PLO to nullifying the section of the PLO charter denying Israel’s right to exist. Other accords signed by the PLO recognize Israel.

It was unclear what mechanism Hamas and the PA would implement to change the PLO’s commitments if indeed Hamas enters the Palestinian national government.

In Cairo last week, both Hamas and the PA announced that steps were being taken to reform the PLO to enable Hamas to enter.

Fatah, Hamas and the 13 other Palestinian factions agreed on the creation of a panel that would govern elections to the PLO.