Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, once again, invited Hamas to join the Palestinian government before the intended Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip settlements and four northern West Bank ones, Palestinian sources reported.

A Hamas source said, no decision has been made on this issue; however the movement is mulling the offer.  This decision requires consultation with all the leading body of Hamas, in the occupied Palestinian territories and abroad, a Hamas official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Israeli official expressed concerns over Abbas’ offer to Hamas saying it is unacceptable.


‘Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization responsible for countless acts of senseless violence against innocent civilians,’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev told The Associated Press. ‘Hamas is no partner for us in any sort of political process. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution,’ Regev said.

This is the second time Abbas offers Hamas to join the government.  The movement rejected his first offer.

Hamas is expected to have a strong showing the Palestinian Parliamentary elections, more than what it would gain from Abbas’ offer.

Earlier, Israeli officials commented that if Hamas wins the elections, pullout will be delayed.  They also warned to delay the pullout if the Palestinian Lawmaker Marwan Barghouthi, who is jailed in Israel since 2002, wins the presidential elections, held in January 2005, in which Abbas was elected President.

Fatah leaders meeting in Amman recommended holding the elections before the end next January.  The Palestinian elections, originally slated for July 17, were delayed until further notice because of election law modifications, according to PA officials.