Hamas has already recognised Israel: Abbas
Jerusalem: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has criticised rival Islamist Hamas' chief Khaled Meshal for saying that his organisation will never recognise Israel and for calling for the destruction of the Jewish nation.
"I don't agree with Khaled Mashaal's statement on the non-recognition of Israel because we, in fact, recognised it in 1993," Abbas said.
"A four-article agreement between (Fatah and Hamas) stipulates a two-state vision. And Mashaal approved of this agreement," he told reporters in the Turkish capital city of Ankara at the conclusion of a two-day visit.
The Palestinian leader, according to Israeli online news website Ynetnews, also hinted that such statements hindered the two-state solution in the region leading to more violence.
During his first-ever visit to Gaza last week, Mashaal said that his Hamas faction "will never recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take."
The issue appears to be a bone of contention between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip since June 2007, and Abbas' Fatah faction as the two groups make efforts to establish a unity government.
The two Palestinian leaders are expected to resume unity talks in Cairo within two weeks.