Hamas to accept independent Palestinian state

...living side by side with Israel.

Depending on who you are, recent news from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh will likely be greeted with joy or disdain.

Hamas, especially the strife between Hamas and Fatah, the main political organizations receiving the largest Palestinian support (40% Fatah, 25% Hamas by the most recent poll), has been used in recent years by Israel and the US as the impediment to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. This strife was of course fomented by the US and Israel to alienate Hamas. Today, given that the Likud government is pretty much out of the closet about its decades long colonialism of the Palestinian territories, and its intents, it is hardly Hamas which impedes peace.

Yesterday Ismail Haniyeh declared that Hamas was "prepared to accept a state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967." :

Haniyeh added that the militant Hamas movement, whose charter calls for the establishment of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine, would be "prepared to accept a state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967."

(snip)

"We are pushing towards the dream of having our independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

"If there is a real project that aims to resolve the Palestinian cause on establishing a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, under full Palestinian sovereignty, we will support it," he continued.

Haniyeh's statement followed similar remarks by the exiled leader, Khaled Meshaal, who stated that Hamas 'will not obstruct' a two-state settlement. Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil described Meshaal's comments as coming from "Hamas' new policy."

The Arab world translates Obama's Cairo speech as a change in American policy, and so does Hamas.

Hamas Political Bureau Director Khaled Mashal: "Hamas will not be an obstacle to a peace agreement in the 1967 borders, Hamas will be a positive element helping to reach a solution that is fair to the Palestinians and will enable them to realize their rights."

In response, high-ranking Hamas figure Salah Bardawil told Makor Rishon-Hatzofe, "Mashal disclosed the first details of Hamas's new policy, as a factor that will act in the framework of a Palestinian government, after there is Palestinian unity, and in the framework of the Mecca agreement."

(snip)

He said that the new compromising American policy had an effect: "Khaled Mashal, after Obama's visit and the change in policy being led by Obama, said this with the goal of showing the world the real problem, which is Israel's attitude.

(snip)

Regarding the possibility of recognizing Israel, Bardawil provided a headline when he clearly said, "a Palestinian state is a condition for recognition. Peace is built stone by stone, at this point the Palestinian nation has left its land and lives in Gaza and the West Bank separately, what is left of our land is under occupation, and then there is a separation fence and the settlements that are growing. Talk of peace in exchange for peace, or plans that Netanyahu and Lieberman are leading that relate to the Palestinians like a small group, are not talk of peace. The fact is that Israel has not spoken up until now about a situation of two states, only the US."

(snip)

Asked if the Palestinian state with Hamas would recognize the State of Israel, he said yes, "If our demand is met and a Palestinian state is established, we will recognize Israel, because we will have a state and they will have a state. At the moment, the situation is that one state controls another state."

As the world, and especially the Obama administration, is taking off the blindfolds, these proclamations by Hamas are unequivocal in their support for a two-state solution, even though they are receiving less media exposure than Netanyahu's rejection of peace on the basis of the old land for peace formula. In the view of Heathlander, Netanyahu is out there again peddling his "limited Palestinian state nonsense" which goes as far back as 1996 and the A Clean Break document written by American Neocons.

A "limited Palestinian state" is nothing less than a dependent Apartheid state. This fact cannot be repeated more.

According to Heathlander, "Hamas's alleged intransigence has been used as a pretext to isolate and overthrow an elected government, subject an occupied people to 'possibly the most rigorous form of international sanctions ... in modern times,' and rain down bombs and missiles upon a defenceless civilian population for years on end."

"Hamas is far closer to accepting a two-state settlement than either Israel or the US."

Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Netanyahu, obama, Palestine (all tags)

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