Who is required to recognize Israel?
Point of View | 29
Israel and the international community have made three demands of Hamas: to recognize Israel, to ratify existing agreements and to end violence. Following the inauguration of the PA government, Israel severed ties with the Palestinian security apparatus and the US announced that it would not contact Hamas members in the PA (Harel, Ha’aretz, 4/2/06).
Re'ut Institute contends that by directing the “three demands” to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) or the cabinet of the PA – and not to the Hamas movement – Israel may increase the prospects of the political pressure placed on Hamas, and maintain the coalition against it.
What is the Issue?
At present, it appears that Israel has successfully created a stable international coalition to block the transfer of funds to the PA until its demands are met.
However, the fear of a humanitarian crisis and changes in the regional and global balance of power may lead the US and the Quartet to change their current positions and deal directly with the PA (See Point of View: “Is There an International Coalition Against Hamas?”). In such case, Israel's demands may prove to be counterproductive.
Moreover, statements made by Israeli and international officials show confusion regarding the entity subject to the demands:
Egypt, Abu Mazen, and members of the US Congress directed the demands to the Hamas movement (Ynet, 2/1/06; Makor Rishon, 2/12/06).
The Quartet announced that it would call on the future Palestinian government to fulfill the three demands (Ha’aretz, 1/31/06).
From Israeli statements it may seem that Israel does not distinguish between Hamas and the PA (Ha’aretz, 2/22/06).