Claims that Mahmoud Abbas will not ask Hamas to form a new government unless it recognises Israel have been denied. The Palestinian president has been visiting his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, following the militant group’s surprise victory in last week’s parliamentary elections.
Abbas will insist, however, that the new Hamas-run government commit to implementing agreements with Israel according an Egyptian source. It is thought Egypt is likely to act as a mediator between Hamas and governments which refuse to deal with the militant group as long as it will not recognise the Jewish state or give up violence. Egypt’s foreign minister has said Hamas might consider a truce with Israel if the Israelis withdraw to pre-1967 borders.