Mashaal, 'We'll fight like men'
Photo: AFP
Gilad Shalit
Reproduction photo: Amit Magal

Mashaal: No news on Shalit deal

Hamas politburo chief says US intervention hinders progress on prisoner exchange deal, internal Palestinian reconciliation

Blaming the Americans. Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal said the United States vetoed the execution of a prisoner exchange deal for the release of Gilad Shalit and the internal Palestinian reconciliation talks.


He told reporters in Damascus on Sunday, "There is nothing new on the Shalit matter, following Zionist prime minister Netanyahu's withdrawal from the offer before his last."


According to Mashaal, the Americans intervened and asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to go forward with the deal since this would bolster Hamas and weaken Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


Mashaal added that the American veto is also standing in the way of Palestinian reconciliation, and said it is aimed at harming internal Palestinian negotiations.


"The Americans made it clear that they would not allow reconciliation unless Hamas succumbs to the international quartet's conditions and recognizes Israel."


The Hamas leader also addressed the possibility that another confrontation may brake out with Israel: "We cannot make prophecies, and we do not seek war, but if a war does erupt, we are ready for it and we will fight like men, because our enemy is a criminal and terror and war are a part of its character.


"Israel always finds reasons for war and is only looking for the right timing," he added.


On Sunday, Hamas responded to the to the "Shalit law" aimed at aggravating the conditions of the organization's prisoners jailed in Israel, and a spokesman for the organization said. "This move is meant to extort Hamas and put pressure on its leaders to exchange Shalit for free."


Sami Abu Zuhri added, "This decision will only cause Hamas to add to its conditions, not to relinquish them."


Gilad Shalit was kidnapped into the Gaza Strip 1,429 days ago


פרסום ראשון: 05.24.10, 10:38
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