Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Hamas: '67 border deal doesn't include recognition of Israel

Hamas' acceptance of 1967 borders, in exchange for a 10-year truce, would not involve the recognition of Israel, senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Haya said Wednesday.

The proposal put forward by Hamas would see the acceptance of a Palestinian state "in stages" on the green line, the 1967 armistice line, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and "the return of all refugees without recognizing Israel in exchange for a 10-year truce," Al-Haya said during a Hamas conference to mark Nakba Day in Gaza City's Ash-Shuja'iyeh neighborhood.

"This means that if the international community grants the right of return to the six million Palestinian refugees across the world to their homes in Haifa, Yaffa, and Akko [Acre], then there will no longer be an occupying state," Al-Haya said.

The return of Palestinian refugees, he said, would signal the end of Israeli occupation, and was paramount in the movement's 1967 border proposal.

Israel is waging a "fierce war to terminate this right," the Hamas official said, adding that the right return is "the cornerstone of the Palestinian cause."

"These rights will not be restored but by force," he added.

Moreover, the offer put forward by the Islamist movement "differs greatly from that of Fatah," concerning the creation of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders.

"The Palestinians should be prepared with culture, faith, weapons and unity among each other," Al-Haya said.

"The siege will not be lifted without more power and steadfastness because the world does respect the weak and knows no mercy," The Hamas official added.

Al-Haya called on rival movement Fatah to consider other options put forward by Palestinian factions in relation to the peace process, saying "come, let us have unity among our people on Palestinian principles. Why should we deprive our people of open options."

Two weeks prior, the Gaza government confirmed that it had reached out to the US administration in written letters, denying, however, that notes were related to a ceasefire deal.

"The government sent a letter to US president Barack Obama a few months ago calling for an end to Israel's siege and an end the double standards [America] employed while dealing with the Palestinian cause," de facto government spokesman Taher An-Nunu said via news release on Monday.

The comments followed a report in Hebrew language Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, which said de facto government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had written to Obama two weeks ago saying he was prepared "recognize Israel within the 1967 borders in exchange for a ceasefire agreement."

The letters, An-Nunu said, contained nothing that was not part of official government policy, which includes the right to resist Israeli forces until they withdraw from areas occupied in 1967.

The letter simply "included a request for Obama to change his policy towards the Palestinian people and their rights," An-Nunu wrote.

A Racist Fascist State Must Not Exist

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