Photo: AP
PA President Abbas
Photo: AP
Photo: AFP
Mahmoud al-Zahar
Photo: AFP

Hamas confirms: Swiss probed possibility of talks with Israel

Top Hamas official confirms Switzerland drafted principles paving way for talks between Israel and Hamas; denies direct talks between the two

The “Swiss Document”, as it was dubbed Tuesday by Former Palestinian Foreign Minister and top Hamas official, Mahmoud al-Zahar, in fact exists. This refers to a deceleration of intent, drafted by Swiss officials, paving the way for negotiations between Israel and Hamas.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) confirmed the existence of the “Swiss Document” Monday, and stated that the Swiss had mediated direct negotiations between Israel and Hamas. In his comments Tuesday, however, al-Zahar noted that there were no direct talks between Israel and Hamas.


“These were merely ideas passed on to us by the Swiss, and which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh then handed to Abu Mazen,” said al-Zahar.


In a ceremony marking the 43rd anniversary of the Fatah’s founding Monday, Abbas directed some rather scathing comments towards Hamas: “Those individuals that call themselves ‘heroes of the resistance’ were very quick to seek out a humiliating ‘hudna’ (ceasefire) with Israel,” he said, noting that he was informed by the Swiss president that Hamas held direct negotiations with the Israeli government prior to the coup in the Gaza Strip.


'Abu Mazen will pay for this approach'

In an attempt to quell infighting between Hamas and Fatah, al-Zahar called for an end to the media mudslinging and political arrests that have abounded as of late between the two rival factions. “Both sides must appear credible and show a united front,” he said.


Al-Zahar also warned PA President Abbas not to portray Israel as Fatah’s savior: “Abu Mazen is telling the Fatah that Israel is the ‘savior’ that will help them return to power in the Gaza Strip. He will end up paying dearly for this approach…,” he said.


The top ranking Hamas official also stated that officials in the Gaza Strip will continue to track down and arrest those responsible for the deaths of eight Palestinians Monday, among them seven Hamas activists.


He furthermore attacked Abbas’ attempts to portray Hamas as seeking to appease Israel: “Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had merely stated that they we (Hamas) are willing to accept a ceasefire with Israel under certain conditions. We are in no way pleading with Israel for a ceasefire,” he said.


פרסום ראשון: 01.01.08, 13:58
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