Germany supports Israeli stance on Hamas

13th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 February 2006, RAMALLAH - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, making his first visit to Israel Monday, expressed full support for Israel's stance on granting legitimacy to Hamas.

13 February 2006

RAMALLAH - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, making his first visit to Israel Monday, expressed full support for Israel's stance on granting legitimacy to Hamas.

Hamas should remain internationally isolated if it does not renounce violence, disarm, accept prior agreements and unconditionally recognize Israel, he said after meeting Acting Premier Ehud Olmert.

Meanwhile the outgoing Palestinian parliament met Monday for its final session and passed a law giving President Mahmoud Abbas increased powers - but the Islamic Hamas movement, winners of last month's legislative elections, said it would contest the changes.

Under the new law, the President of the Palestinian Authority no longer needs the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to appoint judges to the Constitutional Court.

This increases his control over the influential court, which has the power to block legislation from parliament.

Hamas objected to a legislative session being held between the elections and the swearing-in of the new parliament in which it will hold an absolute majority.

Several Hamas legislators-elect who attended the session voiced fears that the outgoing parliament, dominated during its ten-year tenure by Abbas' Fatah party, was trying to pass laws which would give the president more power at the expense of the legislature.

They said they will contest the changes when the new parliament begins its tenure Saturday.

Hamas, which won 74 mandates in the 132-seat PLC, has been tipped to form the next government, but a top leader of the fundamentalist movement said Monday that the next Palestinian cabinet would be comprised of technocrats who would rebuild the Palestinian areas "on the correct basis".

Ismaeel Haneya told reporters in Gaza that internal security would be a main priority of the new government, but it was also important to reform the budget of the Palestinian Authority.

Haneya is a possible candidate for the post of Palestinian prime minister, but the movement has remained mum so far on its choice for the post.

Hamas's emphatic victory on January 25 placed the movement, which has carried out scores of attacks against Israel, under immense international pressure to recognise the Jewish state and lay down its arms.

Israel has said it will not deal with Hamas until it does so.

Copyright DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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