Photo: AP
Ismail Haniyeh
Photo: AP

Hamas: Haniyeh did not say he wants peace

Group spokesman Salah Bardaweil says designated Palestinian PM was misquoted in Washington Post interview

Hamas has denied comments attributed to its prime ministerial candidate Ismail Haniyeh. In an interview with the Washington Post, Haniyeh was quoted as saying that his organization was willing to recognize Israel if it withdraws to the June 1967 lines.


"Hamas has the full interview recorded and there is no connection to what the sheikh said to the headlines in the newspaper," said Hamas party list spokesman Dr. Salah al-Bardaweil.


In the interview with the Washington Post, Haniyeh was quoted as saying that "Hamas does not want to throw the Jews into the sea," and that "we are not war seekers nor are we war initiators. We are not lovers of blood. We are not interested in a vicious cycle of violence. We are oppressed people with rights. If peace brings us our rights, then this is good."


Haniyeh also said that "if Israel withdraws to the '67 borders, then we will establish a peace in stages."


The Hamas spokesman disassociated his organization from the comments and said that the quotes in the newspaper were inaccurate, adding that Heniyeh said in response to a question on whether he would be willing to recognize Israel: "If Israel withdraws from the territories it conquered in '67 and if it releases all of the Palestinian prisoners and if it returns the refugees to their homes, then we will discuss it."


'Hamas obligated to its stance'


Bardaweil added that during the interview Heniyeh was asked again if he would recognize Israel, and then answered: "If Israel accepts the conditions I mentioned then we would be willing to accept a temporary peace agreement. Sheikh Yassin already set in the past the essence of this agreement and a long-term hudna."


"I call on all of the media to be cautious and accurate in the writing of their reports and not to revise the words of the interviewee," he said.


He added that Hamas continues to be obligated to its stance to not recognize Israeli occupation and that it is unwilling to abandon the principles of the Palestinians.


פרסום ראשון: 02.26.06, 17:28
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