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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Israel should accept Palestinian unity bid: China's Mideast envoy


10:05, February 21, 2012

JERUSALEM, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese special envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike said that Israel should accept the reconciliation between Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas.

"I hope that Israel would accept this fact (of reconciliation) and make efforts in favor of pushing forward the peace process," Wu Sike told Xinhua in a briefing on Sunday, rejecting Israel's official stance on not negotiating with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

The Palestinian factions signed the unity agreement two weeks ago in Doha, Qatar. According to the deal, current Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will serve as the premier of a unity transitional government that will be formed for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Chinese envoy, on a visit to the region, stressed that the Palestinian move is a step towards a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, urging Israel to let Hamas, which he described as an "integral part of the political process," to join the negotiations.

An official source at the Israeli prime minister's office told Xinhua Monday that the Israeli government has reiterated its stance of not negotiating with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

"Negotiations will not take place with a technocratic government that is made out of an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. The current reality is that the other side (of the negotiations) consists of an organization that does not acknowledge Israel," the official said.

"It is very hard to walk hand-in-hand (with the Palestinians). We can only hope the Palestinian (National) Authority will not persist in its ties with Hamas," the official said.

During his visit, Wu met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzhak Molcho, the Israeli envoy to last month's exploratory talks with the Palestinians held in Amman, Jordan.

"China is willing to play a constructive role in bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to the peace negotiations," the Chinese envoy said, adding that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process should remain as the focus in the Middle East, despite the latest changes of the international and regional situation.

Wu expressed the Chinese government's hopes that "both sides will show enough flexibility and create a more encouraging atmosphere to resume peace negotiations."


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