Hamas' political leader Khaled Mashaal made particularly moderate statements in an address to British lawmakers via satellite on Wednesday. "Resistance is means to an end and not the objective itself," said Mashaal, "and if we find another way to end the occupation – we will use it."
According to Mashaal, the only way to promote peace in the Middle East is by pressuring Israel. Ignoring the Palestinian problem and leaving it unsolved would lead to "an explosion in the region," he warned the Parliament members.
Mashaal stressed that any settlement with the Palestinians will have to include Israel's' withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the right of return.
The MPs reportedly had trouble hearing the Hamas leader due to technical problems with the broadcast.
In his speech Mashaal accused Israel of leaving every peace initiative empty, and said that the road to peace and stability in the region runs through ending the occupation. "The Palestinian people must be able to exercise their tight for self determination, have sovereignty and be allowed to have a state like every other nations in the world," he stressed.
'Europe a major player'
Mashaal defined Hamas as "a national resistance movement that seeks to get rid of the occupation and allow the Palestinian people to have freedom and very other legitimate right.
"Israel is stronger than us, but force alone cannot decide the campaign – Israel has failed to do so time and again," he stated.
Hamas' exiled leader referred to Europe as a "major player" that ought to play a positive role in resolving the Palestinian issue, because "the US' foreign policy will not change."
British leaders are divided in their attitude towards Hamas: While the government considers it a terrorist organization and refuses to talk to Hamas, some politicians believe that dialogue with the group is the only way to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.