Hamas Denies Brotherhood Fattwa to Recognize Israel

Hamas is denying reports in the Israeli press that the Muslim Brotherhood is allowing the recognition of Israel.

The Israeli Yediot Aharonot reported on Friday that the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi ‘Akif issued a fatwa, or a religious decree, which allows Hamas to recognize Israel.

But a Hamas spokesman said the problem lies with the Israeli, not the Palestinian mindset.

“Israel is the one that doesn’t recognize the right of our people and doesn’t recognize us,” he said, according to the Palestinian daily Al-Quds.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. It branched out into other countries in the Middle East and was the inspiration for other Islamist organizations such as the Palestinian Hamas.

Meanwhile, Khalid Mash’al, known as the head of Hamas’ political bureau, said on Iranian Television on Saturday that Hamas will not recognize Israel, despite international pressure.

The international community is cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority, insisting that Hamas recognizes Israel, renounces terrorism and accepts previously signed agreements with Israel.

The United States and Israel designate Hamas a terrorist organization.

Delegates from the 22-member Arab League asked the new Palestinian government on Saturday to adopt an Arab peace plan from 2002, which aims to end the conflict with Israel.

Mahmoud A-Zahhar, who heads external affairs in the Palestinian government, said he would convey the message to his government, but he made no commitment to the initiative and he noted that Israel had not accepted the Arab peace plan.