On the day that President Shimon Peres urged Hamas to abandon terror, to free Gaza from the blockade and put an end to the need for flotillas, it seems now more than ever, these calls fall on deaf ears.
An official from the Palestinian organization, Mahmoud al-Zahar on Sunday urged the Palestinian Authority to instruct its staff to stop pursuing terror organizations and allow them to fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank.
In an interview to Palestinian paper al-Quds, al-Zahar said the Gaza Strip has been liberated, "and the PA's security apparatus should free our hands. In order to liberate Jerusalem and the West Bank, rockets must be fired from the West Bank. Why should this fire come only from the Strip?"
Al-Zahar said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and their security apparatus are fighting the "resistance" in the West Bank, but stressed, "We will not change our policies even after we win the coming elections. These are our policies, and we will not waive our rights, even if they continue with the siege. If we were willing to give up on our rights, I would have been in Washington right now."
The Hamas official added, "Resistance is the solution, as the international community has given the PA nothing, and Israel does not care about the Arab Peace Initiative."
He noted that several western and Arab countries have refused to accept the results of the 2006 elections, which were won by Hamas.
"There are Arab countries that accept American legitimization, but not the Palestinian legitimization that was created after the elections we held, which were the most fair in the Arab world."
Al-Zahar claimed that the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 was meant to prevent a similar takeover by Fatah, "which has already taken over the West Bank with Israel's help, despite us taking power after the elections."