Optimistic. Mashaal
Photo: AP
Hamas: Palestinian reconciliation on way
Achieving reconciliation best way to responsd to 'Zionist extremism,' Khaled Mashaal says

Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal said Monday only minor issues remain for a full reconciliation with the rival Fatah group.


Mashaal did not give details but said the two sides have taken "serious and real steps" toward reconciliation and would meet in Cairo early October for more talks.


Repeated efforts to reconcile the two sides have failed. Breakthroughs have been heralded before, only to fizzle. Reconciliation would likely require major concessions, including the integration of rival security forces and new elections – issues the group has shown little interest in compromising on so far.


"The best way to respond to the Zionist extremism is achieving reconciliation," Mashaal told a meeting of Arab parliamentarians in Damascus.


The rival sides had said Saturday they agreed on steps to end divisions.


The agreement came during a four-hour meeting that ended early Saturday between two delegations headed by Mashaal and senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed.


A joint statement issued after the talks said the two sides have reached an understanding on "the majority of points of difference." It gave no details, but the sides have differed over control of Palestinian security forces and the date for parliamentary and presidential elections.


Speaking with CNN later Monday, Mashaal said that if the international community fails to pressure Israel to return to the 1967 borders, the Palestinians people will be left with one choice – resistance.


Mashaal noted the Palestinians demanded their rights, and if the only way to obtain them was by resistance, than it was their legitimate duty and right, which they cannot be blamed for.


In a rare statement regarding Hamas-held Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Mashaal told CNN the captive was "doing well. I assure you, we are treating him very well, according to our principles and beliefs," he told the interviewer.


Mashaal stressed that while Shalit was an enemy soldier, he was nevertheless "doing better that the 8,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons." Shalit will be released, he concluded, only in exchange for the release of Hamas' "full prisoners list."





פרסום ראשון: 09.27.10, 17:01
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