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Hamas: Recognizing Israel jeopardizes rights
Published Wednesday 11/05/2011 (updated) 13/05/2011 21:38
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas will accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, but will maintain its refusal to recognize Israel, party leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar said Wednesday.

Speaking with Ma'an radio, the official said that Hamas was ready to recognize a Palestinian state "on any part of Palestine," for the first time publicly steering away from prior Hamas demands that the modern Palestinian state must be established "from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea."

Az-Zahhar also said, however, that a formal recognition of Israel would "cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands."

The Hamas leader said that recognizing Israel would jeopardize the right of return for Palestinian refugees who have been exiled from the land since 1948 when Israel was recognized by the United Nations.

If only Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are considered citizens of a Palestinian state, he continued, "what will be the fate of the five million Palestinians in the diaspora?"

At the same time, the Hamas leader confirmed the decision reached with Fatah to maintain the truce with Israel, calling the move "part of the resistance, not a cancellation," and noting that "truce is not peace."

The comments came as Palestinians and the international community await details of a unity agreement signed by Hamas and its former rival Fatah. The deal, signed in Cairo on May 4, paved the way for the creation of a unity government that will see the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the Fatah-led cabinet in the West Bank dissolved and replaced by a single cabinet of independent technocrats.

The new body will set a path to elections within the year, as committees established by the deal work to unify the Palestinian security forces in the two territories and set a government platform which will include the reconstruction of Gaza.

Already, officials announced that a deal had been made which will see the release of political prisoners from both areas within the week.

'Not a good time' for Abbas in Gaza

Since a March 16 invitation from Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh, President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has been expected to travel to Gaza and symbolically cement the unity agreement with a handshake between the leaders.

According to Az-Zahhar, "complications from the [years of] division," have made that visit "impossible for the moment," saying the social scene in Gaza was "lurching, and needs efforts to solidify the reconciliation between the major families" of the coastal enclave.

He said he could also not guarantee that "Israel will not send its infiltrators to shoot Abbas," or that some families against the President's positions would not "come out and throw rocks at him."

The official also commented on a Fatah announcement that institutions for the party closed in the wake of the near-civil war of 2007 would be re-opened. "It will be hard for the former security officials to come back and open the offices in this period," he said calling the announcement premature.

Az-Zahhar said that while he had high hopes for unity and its impact on the immanent creation of a Palestinian state, he had doubts that the project would be completed by September, a deadline set by the PA before a unity deal was struck.
1 ) ronen / israel
11/05/2011 11:13
i bet we will immedietly jump on this offer.

2 ) Tobias / US
11/05/2011 15:41

Since the Unity government will NOT "cancel the right of the
NEXT Palestinian generations to liberate the lands",
the Israeli government will "cancel the right of the
PRESENT Palestinian generation to liberate any land !!!

Clearly, NOT "recognizing Israel jeopardizes rights" too !!!

11/05/2011 16:26
Zionist Izrael has no right to exist and any that agrees that it does has folded and according to the Bible Rev chapter 13, have taken the MARK OF THE BEAST created out of the earth (Middle East) by the beast out of the sea of NATIONS (UN)

4 ) Robby / USA
11/05/2011 17:10
... however, that a formal recognition of Israel would "cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands." - not true. What would prevent a "HAMAS II" from gaining power and changing the rules later on? After all that is what HAMAS did, didn't they?

5 ) Alex / USA
11/05/2011 17:21
What a great offer!

6 ) Nour / One-State
11/05/2011 17:25
One of those rare moments I agree with any Hamas official! NEVER recognize a "Jewish" State as that totally denies the Nakba and Palestinian expulsion.

7 ) Carlos / USA
11/05/2011 19:27
I do not know what offers were made. Hamas outlined their position and it sounds reasonable to me.

8 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
11/05/2011 19:48
Hamas: Despite your willingness to accept a Palestinian nation on the 1967 borders, I'm VERY GLAD you still DON'T recognize us. (If you DID, that would REALLY put the pressure on us, then you AND Fatah would be politically together on that.) This is no doubt because you want a chance (like the next Palestinian generation) to kill our existence as a nation. As for us sending in infiltrators to shoot Abbas: We KNOW how much you hate us but to even think that, HOW DAMN STUPID CAN YOU BE ???

9 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
11/05/2011 21:30
In addition, Az-Zahhar recognizes that there are competing factions in Gaza who may violently disagree with unification and place Mr. Abbas' life in danger should he visit Gaza. See the latest in Ynet for a discussion on this issue. It's evident that Palestinians, who are fractionalized into huge families (10,000 or more), tribes and clans, both in the Westbank and Gaza, are not sufficiently unified to create a state.

10 ) Tobias / US
11/05/2011 23:03
Palestinians need to realize, that though future rights may be jeopardized, NOT recognizing Israel now definitely jeopardizes the present rights of Palestinians even more, and prevents any chance of real statehood !!!

11 ) ABE / USA
12/05/2011 06:06
Some 'UNITY" agreement. Abbas can't even enter Gaza!

12 ) southparkbear / usa
12/05/2011 16:12
all i asked politely from hamass please don't. why maan blocks my comment?

13 ) Tony B? / ME
12/05/2011 18:25
Typical Pal gobbledigook. You have to recognise the legitimacy of those you negotiate with otherwise what the hell are you sitting at the table with them for in the first place? But then Pals have never recognised Israel's right to exist, just as their Islamic creed has never recognised a Jew's right to life. So who gives a damn about anything these cretins say? Israel should walk away from all this bullshit and get on with building their state. If you Pals don't like it, talk to the IDF !

14 ) John H / NZ
13/05/2011 07:04
3) Mike, k.i.s.s. Revelation 13 is not about Israel or the Middle East, which in any case have nothing to do with the mark of the beast. And you said I was naive!!

15 ) Maureen / Australia
13/05/2011 07:52
Tony B? No wonder you question yourself, a gobbledigook, Zionist terrorist state supporter.

16 ) Wissam / Palestine
13/05/2011 08:25
#9 Hello Canadian. The Palestine unity agreement has just been signed with a transitional government to be formed tomorrow morning in Cairo. Perhaps the deep freeze of the White North is affecting what remains of your brain cells. You come here to provoke. We come here to remind you Palestine is coming and no amount of provocation will stop Palestine independence this September so I suggest zip it and ask your dear settlers a.ka WB trailer trash to show us their backs.

17 ) Tobias / US
13/05/2011 15:12

At this stage, "Palestinians have more created the conditions for"
DESTROYING ISRAEL, than "establishing a Palestinian state",
so if "they need Israel to cooperate", they will have to compromise
on both providing the security (borders & demilitarized) and
recognition (Jewish Homeland) that the State of Israel demands !!!!

That is the only way Palestine will ever become a real state,
and even a UN recognition of Palestine will NEVER change that !!

18 ) Tony B? / ME
21/05/2011 17:46
6) "One of those rare moments I agree with any Hamas official! NEVER recognize a "Jewish" State as that totally denies the Nakba and Palestinian expulsion". For an otherwise seemingly intelligent woman, you disappoint me with your belief in fairy tales.
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