Lahav Harkov
The Jerusalem Post
December 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas members will not be allowed to represent the Palestinian Authority in the International Organization of Parliaments (IPU), the group’s secretary-general, Andres B. Johnsson, told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Sunday.

“Fatah is a recognized political movement, but Hamas is a terrorist organization. The PA must choose a side. Hamas is trying to use the IPU to pave its way to international recognition,” Rivlin told Johnsson.

“Your organization must make it clear that it will not allow Hamas members in its ranks, whether or not there is a unity deal [between Hamas and the PA],” the Knesset speaker said. “Do not help Hamas get international recognition.”

The IPU was founded in 1889 as a framework for parliamentary dialogue, which encourages representative democracy and works towards international cooperation. The PA became an official member of the organization in 2008.

“The unity deal will not help Hamas in the IPU. We will make sure that the Palestinian delegation will not include Hamas members, and will only authorize the list of participants when we are sure that Hamas is not a part of it,” Johnsson told Rivlin. “There have been attempts to include Hamas members in official PA delegations, but I have stopped them.”

Rivlin also said he supports the Moroccan candidate for the IPU presidency over the Indonesian candidate.

“We are not worried about participating in international forums with Arab representation, as long as they hold fair discussions and are not used as an international stage to censure the State of Israel,” he explained. “We will not agree to take part in a hostile forum.”


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