JERUSALEM (AP) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak thinks Hamas militants soon to head the Palestinian government will succumb to international pressure and renounce their violent campaign against Israel, Israel’s Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz quoted him Monday as saying.
Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings, recently won a landslide victory in Palestinian elections and is set to take power within weeks. Israel, supported by the West, has demanded that the militant group abandon its violent ideology, recognize Israel’s right to exist and honor previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The president says that he believes that Hamas will change its ways in the future and adopt the Israeli conditions,” said Mofaz, who traveled to Cairo on Tuesday for talks with Mubarak and other Egyptian officials.
His remarks were broadcast over Israel Radio. In other remarks translated into Arabic at a news conference, Mofaz said Mubarak pledged to “exert all of his efforts to make Hamas accept all the Israeli conditions.”
Last week, Hamas leaders meeting in Cairo said Egypt didn’t put any pressure on them to yield to Israel’s demands.