Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal said Tuesday that his movement is willing to give Israel a one-year extension on recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.
Mashaal said that Hamas wouldn't declare war on Israel at the end of the year, but rather, it would "add additional cards to the pack of resistance."
On a visit to Egypt to meet with factions who led the uprising against former President Mubarak, Mashaal said "in order for Israel not to find excuses to hinder the unity deal we are willing to offer her a year's extension in order to examine her intentions."
Mashaal refused to criticize the previous Egyptian regime and said that it had a positive role on the Palestinian issue and in all issues concerning Palestinian unity and internal affairs.
In an interview to the Reuters news agency on Sunday Mashaal said that the issue of Palestinian recognition of Israel could only be addressed after an independent state was set up in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"First allow the Palestinian people to live on their lands freely... to establish their independent state... then ask the Palestinian people, its government and leaders about their position towards Israel," he said.
Mashaal added the international community must pressure Israel to recognize the Palestinians, not the other way around. "Israel needs pressure. It is an occupier that would not get out by conviction or through dialogue.
"What is needed today... is to have resistance in all forms, armed and public ones," he said adding that he intends to try to persuade Fatah to adopt his approach to force Israel to end its occupation. "Any occupier in the world never retreats voluntarily... It only retreats under pressure and force."
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