Tuesday, Oct. 22
Latest News
  1. Palestinian goverment: 26 million in development of ministries
  2. Rudeineh: Washington us unable to achieve anything by itself
  3. US: “No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of the West Bank"
  4. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  5. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  6. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  7. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  8. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  9. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  10. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp

Zahhar: Land swap 'an attempt to alter history'

May 4, 2013 12:01 A.M. (Updated: May 7, 2013 7:19 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Arab Peace Initiative seeking a swap of land between Palestine and Israel is “an attempt to alter history”, a senior Hamas leader said Friday.

Mahmoud Zahhar said that no one can take the rights of Palestinians to return to their lands.

He added that Palestinians have four immutable rights: the right to their land, their beliefs, their holy places and their right to return.

Zahhar called on Palestinians to cling to these rights and not give up any small piece of “Palestine’s soil”.

An Arab League offer of full diplomatic ties in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from land occupied in 1967 now includes a reference to the principle of mutually-agreed land swaps.

The move has been hailed by Washington as "a very big step forward."

Israel's top peace negotiator Tzipi Livni said Thursday that the Arab League's modification of its plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could bring new talks closer.

But a Palestinian envoy said Israel had responded to the new overtures with "colonization and confrontation."

Livni, who is also Israel's justice minister, said after talks with UN leader Ban Ki-moon that a freeze on peace negotiations since September 2010 could thaw with the latest Arab League initiative, which was announced after a meeting between Arab ministers and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"I hope so, it is (in) the interests of Israel, the interests of the Palestinians and the interests of the international community," Livni told reporters.

"It is clear that Secretary Kerry is completely involved, determined, and I believe that basically it (new talks) is something that we need to do."

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said that Israel was only "paying lip service" to peace talks.

"While serious regional and international efforts are under way to revive the path of peace and to salvage the two-state solution, Israel instead continues to choose colonization and confrontation," Mansour said.

Mansour slammed Israeli tactics in a letter to Ban and the UN Security Council which highlighted how "hundreds of Palestinians have been forcibly displaced" in the past week and others face eviction.

He said such actions are "fueling tensions on the ground, inciting violence and provoking deeper mistrust," as he called on the Security Council to act.

The PLO halted peace talks with Israel in September 2010 when Israel refused to renew a moratorium on building settlements in the occupied territories.
Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015