Photo: Reuters
Haniyeh. Pragmatism
Photo: Reuters

Hamas: We’ll recognize Israel within '67 borders

Faction's spokesman at Palestinian parliament voices pragmatic, surprising declarations during Ramallah conference; 'we, Hamas, are committed to calm up to this moment,' he says

The Hamas movement is ready to recognize agreements signed with Israel, and in fact recognize Israel, but only within the '67 borders, senior Hamas member Khaled Suleiman said Wednesday.


According to Suleiman, the movement will be ready to accept a Palestinian state inside the '67 borders and will not operate to thwart diplomatic negotiations held by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.


In a Ramallah conference, the Hamas faction spokesman in the Palestinian Legislative Council said that "the Palestinian government is unauthorized according to the Palestinian constitution to negotiate with Israel, but does not oppose a possibility that Abbas will do so."


"All the government can do is reach a calm, and we, Hamas, are committed to a calm up to this moment," he added.


Suleiman noted, however, that his government will not arrest any Palestinian gunmen under any condition. He added that this was unacceptable as long as Israel continues its targeted killings and enters Palestinian towns and communities.


Referring to the international Quartet's demands of the Hamas-led government to recognize agreements signed by the PA with Israel, Suleiman said that "these agreements are a reality which we view as such, and therefore I see no problem."


In spite of these remarks, Suleiman was skeptical regarding the chances to reach a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations.


"The problem is not the Hamas victory, but rather the dead end the negotiations reached since Camp David and the Israeli claim regarding the absence of a Palestinian partner. We see Israel is only interested in a Palestinian partner who will be ready to accept its policy of unilateral moves," he said.


Mashaal: Send us arms, fighters, money


Dr. Saeb Erekat, the PLO's chief negotiator with Israel, also took part in the conference and demanded that the government clearly declare its commitment to the to agreements signed by the PA.


"The government is the Palestinian people's government, not the Hamas government, and therefore it must be committed to the PA and the previous governments' commitments and stop being selective on this matter," he said.


Senior Hamas officials, including the group's politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, recently reiterated that they would not give in to pressures and budgets and would not change the movement's principles, according to which Hamas does not recognize Israel.


Meanwhile, Haniyeh said that he would only agree to receive his salary after 165,00 Palestinian clerks are paid. Hanieyh spoke in a speech aired by phone to a conference held in Qatar. Haniyeh added that he will transfer his first paycheck to the family of a Palestinian girl killed last month by an IDF shell in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.


Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal on Wednesday urged supporters around the world on to send Hamas arms, fighters and money to back its fight against Israel.


"We ask all the people in surrounding Arab countries, the Muslim world and everyone who wants to support us to send weapons, money and men," Mashaal said in a speech at a pro-Palestinian event in Qatar.


פרסום ראשון: 05.11.06, 00:19
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