Thursday, November 22, 2012

Amidst The Fog of Words, Perhaps Some Progress

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared a position on Palestinian statehood that is nearly identical to that of his Fatah rival, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview with CNN aired Wednesday.

"I accept a Palestinian state according [to] the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return," he  told Christine Amanpour in Cairo.

In an interview with CNN, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that he accepts a Palestinian state "according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right of return [for Palestinian refugees]."

Mashaal went on to say that

Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, it is my land. And the land of my fathers and grandfathers, inhibited by the Palestinian people for a long time ago. This is my land, my right. ... because of the circumstances of the region, because of the keenness to stop the bloodshed, the Palestinians today, and in the past, and Hamas, have agreed about a program that accepts the 1967 borders. But the Israelis don't accept."
Good news!!?

But, apparently Hamas is not ready to say this full on (yet?) Later the same day Hamas denied that its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, had expressed support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's effort to upgrade the status of a Palestinian state to non-member.

Supporting Abbas's statehood bid would have meant that Hamas is willing to accept a Palestinian state "only" within the pre-1967 lines.

The denial came shortly after Abbas's office announced that he had received a phone call from Haniyeh, who expressed support for the statehood bid.

So was Mashaals' statement to CNN (and perhaps Haniyeh's phone call to Abbas) a trial balloon. Does it represent a cautious softening of Hamas' position, and an accommodation with Israel and with the PA?  One can hope.

source: jpost, and jpost

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