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In recent years, Hamas has said it favors establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, though that has not translated into recognition of Israel - a central demand of the United States and the European Union, which maintain official boycotts of Hamas.

Hamas also retains a large armed wing, which has sent rockets and suicide bombers into Israel, though the group largely has observed a de facto cease-fire since the 2008-09 Gaza war.

Ghassan Khatib, director of the Palestinian Government Media Center, said reconciliation will depend on Hamas‘ dissolution of its armed wing and that Mr. Abbas is “discussing this with them internally.”

Mr. Fayyad also said “security pluralism” is fundamentally inconsistent with statehood. “The concept of a state is based on the oneness of [the] security effort and a clear security doctrine,” he said.

Mr. Fayyad, who gained respect in the West and in Israel for his rejection of armed conflict, said he hopes Hamas will embrace his government’s nonviolent approach.

But he expressed skepticism on whether anybody could persuade the group to change <t-1>its position toward Israel over “the immediate horizon.”

“It’s not that I belittle the significance of the difference in political platforms and the complications it causes for us internationally, including vis-a-vis our relations with the state of Israel,” he said. “It’s that I do not really see [it] in the realm of the doable.”