Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

International Parliamentary Union apologises for Hamas invitation

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According to a recent AP report, after facing criticism from Israeli Knesset members for hosting two Hamas MPs at its recent conference, the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) has reportedly apologised to Israel.

Israel objected because the militant group has killed hundreds of Israelis in attacks over the years. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by the EU. and U.S.

The union's secretary-general, Anders Johnsson, confirmed sending a letter to Israeli Parliament Speaker Reuven Rivlin. He told Rivlin Hamas was not invited to participate, and al-Masri had attended as part of a nongovernment group's delegation.

The apology is significant as Rivlin had previously been given assurances by Johnsson that the IPU would not legitimise Hamas.

... parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin said he was disappointed the organisation had agreed to host Hamas members.

"The president of the IPU, Anders Johnsson, promised me at a meeting last month in Geneva that he would not help Hamas gain international recognition," he told the radio.

Even with recent claims that Hamas may be wavering on its commitment to violent resistance, the movement has yet to fulfil any of the three conditions required of it for international recognition by the Middle East Quartet: recognising Israel, renouncing violence and agreeing to abide by previous agreements made between the PLO and Israel. Until Hamas agrees to these conditions, it it should and hopefully will remain an international pariah.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

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