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Israeli Arab MKs: Hamas win will help peace process
Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections will contribute to the peace process, Israeli Arab officials said Thursday.
"Just as only [Ariel] Sharon was capable of making peace with the Palestinians, only Hamas will make peace with Israel," said MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List), who is associated with the southern faction of the Islamic Movement, in a press statement. "Israel should stop claiming there is no partner for peace."
Dehamshe also met Thursday with Mohammed Abu Tir, who is number two on Hamas' list, to offer his congratulations on the victory.
Sheikh Hashem Abdel Rahman, spokesman for the northern faction of the Islamic Movement, also congratulated Hamas on its victory, but urged it to set up a unity government with Fatah. He, too, said he believed Hamas would further the peace process. "They have enough wise men who will know how to act," he said.
MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) urged Israel to conduct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority's new leaders, saying the results of the elections must be respected. "Those who hope for the democratization of the Arab world must honor the Palestinian people's decision," he said.
MK Ahmed Tibi (Movement for Arab Renewal), like Rahman, urged Hamas to form a coalition with Fatah, adding that any coalition would have to negotiate with Israel.