While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday continued to warn of the threats behind the Palestinian factions' reconciliation, one of the mediators in the Hamas-Fatah unity talks expressed surprising optimism.
Palestinian businessman and billionaire Munib al-Masri, who was one of the mediators in the reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, told Ynet that Hamas would be willing to negotiate a peace deal with Israel, based on the 1967 borders.
"During conversations I had with Khaled Mashal and Mousa Abu Marzook, they said that they want to establish a strong government that can achieve a comprehensive peace based on 1967 border," said al-Masri, who has been named as a candidate to head the new government.
Al-Masri, second from right (Photo: Elior Levy)
When asked to clarify Hamas' intentions, al-Masri stressed the Islamic faction does not refer to a "hudna" – a long-term ceasefire that has already been discussed in the past – but rather a comprehensive agreement. However, he did not mention the issue of recognizing Israel.
Inside Palestinian halls of power, al-Masri is considered a plausible candidate to head the interim "technocrats' government" both by Hamas and Fatah, and is regarded as an distinguished and independent figure in the Palestinian Authority.
When asked if he would accept the position, al-Masri replied, "I am an old man and there are younger people who can do it," but added that if both sides asked him to assume the role – he will not say no.
The Palestinian billionaire noted that he supports the re-nomination of Salam Fayyad as prime minister. "I hope it happens," al-Masri said, but noted that Hamas would have to also support to move.
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