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Mahmoud al-Zahar Photo: Reuters
Mahmoud al-Zahar Photo: Reuters
 
Blunted joy: London bombing Photo: Skynews
Blunted joy: London bombing Photo: Skynews
 
 

'Israel will eventually disappear'

Senior Hamas leader tells Italian newspaper pullout plan a temporary solution; says Palestine will become a Muslim state

By Dian Bahur-Nir and Ali Waked
Published: 07.11.05, 20:59 / Israel News

Hamas will not compromise on one inch of Greater Palestine, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar told an Italian newspaper earlier this week.

 

Speaking to the Corriere Della Sera newspaper, al-Zahar said Hamas would "definitely not" be prepared for coexistence with Israel should the IDF retreat to its 1967 borders.

 


Photo: Flash 90
 Shalom meets with EU envoy Solana (Photo: Flash 90)
"It can be a temporary solution, for a maximum of 5 to 10 years. But in the end Palestine must return to become Muslim, and in the long term Israel will disappear from the face of the earth."
 
Go to hell

 

Asked about Hamas's intentions to carry out terror attacks in coordination with the disengagement plan, al-Zahar said Hamas has already promised not to initiate violence, and that the group's actions would be in response to Israeli actions.

 

"We won't disrupt the Israeli withdrawal, let them get out of here and go to hell," he said. "The problem will be afterwards, because in the hearts of every Palestinian, the liberation of Gaza must be accompanied by the liberation of Jerusalem and the West Bank."

 

London attack 

 

Al-Zahar said the London bombings, whiched occured during the interview, are to be expected in countries that support the United States.

 

"It's no wonder today they have found terror attacks in their home," he said. "I am opposed to attacks against civilians, whoever they are, but why not tell it like it is - if the British soldiers were not in Baghdad and Bazra – there would be mercy for London today."

 

However, al-Zahar stopped short of supporting the attack on the London Underground, but tried to "explain" the acts of suicide bombers.

 

"There is a broad popular people's movement against American arrogant hegemony. World leaders, headed by the Bush and Blair governments, should have been more attentive to the voice of poorer countries."

 

Foreign Ministry protests

 

In Israel, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom provided a translation of part of the interview and parts of the Hamas consitution Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom for European Union envoy Javier Solana, in an attempt to explain Israel's rejection fo negotioations with Hamas.

 

The Ministry has also embarked on a campaign to discourage Europeans from dealing with Hamas, including an English translation of Hamas's convention, to be distributed to diplomats in a bid to illustrate the movement's radical and dangerous character to the attention of decision makers throughout the world.

 

"Now, when Europe has offered to recognize Hamas on a political level, al-Zahar provides clear statements of what to expect from the organization," Ministry officials told Ynet. "He does not even attempt to speak ambiguously in an attempt to please Europe and finds it difficult to hide the group's happiness at the London bombings."  

 

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