Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said in an interview with the London-based Al-Hayat daily that the organization will not break the ceasefire with Israel agreed on after Operation Cast Lead.
"There is an agreement about a state of calm which was reached after the war with the help of Egypt and all the factions agreed on it," he said. "Did we agree to it only to break it? Why are we being criticized for something we agreed on together with Fatah and the factions?"
Al-Zahar slammed the rocket launchers and said, "They rebel against their own factions and this is proved by the fact that no one has ever taken responsibility. Do they expect us to shake the hand of a man who rebels against his own factions? Opening the door would lead to chaos. Some of the factions didn't fire a single shot during the war and now they want to market themselves."
The Hamas official also insisted that it is the US, and not Iran or Syria, that is impeding reconciliations efforts with Fatah.
When asked whether Iran and Syria were sabotaging reconciliation efforts he replied, "What does Iran have to do with the issue of reconciliation and what good would the two countries gain from impeding the efforts? Reconciliation will not hurt Syria. Would Syria object because Egypt is sponsoring the talks? That's unreasonable. Syria is not in competition with Egypt."
Al-Zahar noted that Egypt also sponsors the Shalit prisoner swap deals and peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
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