BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas will not be bound by any agreement reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, senior party leader Moussa Abu Marzouk says.
In an interview in Cairo with US newspaper The Forward, Abu Marzouk pointed out that when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to power, he chose not to abide by the Oslo Accords signed by his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin.
In the same way, a future Hamas government will not be bound by any peace treaty agreed by President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, he said.
Abu Marzouk, deputy chief of the Hamas politburo, proposed a "hudna" or truce between Israel and Palestine, similar to Israel's arrangement with Lebanon and Syria.
"It’s better than war and better than the continuous resistance against the occupation. And better than Israel occupying the West Bank and Gaza, making all these difficulties and problems on both sides."
Hamas objects to talks with Israel but allows the Fatah-led PA to negotiate under a previous understanding, Abu Marzouq said.
But any agreement reached between the PA and Israel must be subject to a referendum and approved by all Palestinians, including refugees in the diaspora, Abu Marzouk added.
"All of the Palestinians should vote about this," he said.
The agreement must include the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their land, he added.
Regarding Hamas' pledge in November to join in Fatah's civil resistance during a reconciliation meeting in Cairo, Abu Marzouq said the strategy did not mean the group renounced armed resistance.
Abu Marzouk noted that Israeli forces had killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, many more than the number of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian militants.
"You cannot compare between the civilians killed by Israel and the civilians killed by the resistance."
While Israel usually apologizes for civilian deaths, and Hamas doesn't, "the killing is killing," Abu Marzouq said.
Hamas' policy is "against targeting any civilian," he added.
Abu Marzouq said Hamas differentiates between the Israeli occupation and the Jewish people.
"We don’t have originally something against the Jew as a religion or against the Jew as a human being," he said. "The problem is that the Israelis kicked out my family. They have occupied my land and injured thousands of Palestinians."
Regarding American support for Israel, Abu Marzouq said it stemmed from sympathy for the historical suffering of the Jewish people.
"Those people who have sympathy for the Jews [in Israel], it’s because of their history with the Jews. If you look carefully at what happened to the Jews in Moscow or Madrid, in Spain or in Germany or Poland, that's very bad ... Anyone who historically his father or grandfather did something like that [to the Jews], he should be ashamed."
Abu Marzouq is widely considered as a potential successor to Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal, who in January announced his intention to retire.
The politburo of Hamas is appointed by the Shura council, which has yet to publicly accept Mashaal's resignation.
If the council reappoints Mashaal as head of the politburo, for what would be his third term, he must accept the decision or provide acceptable reasons to refuse.