The initial reports falsely attributing peaceful intentions to Hamas by overlaying wishful thinking on top of actual Hamas statements get remembered by the anti-Israel "peace activist" crowd and the explicit denials don't even get reported.
The most famous example happened in 2011 when Ethan Bronner of the New York Times flatly asserted that Khaled Meshal accepts a two state solution, without being able to actually quote him saying it. The NYT followed with an editorial that continued with that false assertion.
Haaretz had a similar story in 2013, followed by Hamas' explicit denial.
NPR followed in 2014 with another report of Hamas' supposed moderation, again ignoring Hamas; explicit pro-terror statements released every day.
In these cases and more, Meshal said was that he was willing to accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines (plus flooding Israel with millions of Arabs) as a stage in the destruction of Israel, which is not negotiable.
Now YNet is jumping on the "Hamas is moderate" bandwagon:
Chief of Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Mashal has once again made relatively moderate statements about his organization's involvement in any future peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians in a conversation with Indian journalists on Tuesday.Once again, reporter are injecting their own wishful thinking on Meshal's words.
Mashal said, speaking in English, "Hamas believes that we have full rights over the whole land and we don’t recognize occupation. Our fathers and grandfathers lived there. Hamas is also very much keen on a unified Palestine front. That is why we have accepted a joint Arab and Palestine program, based on 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, with the right of return of Palestinians expelled during years by successive Israeli governments."
Asked about the apparent contradiction in his position, Meshal answered, "We are facing apartheid. Nobody can force us to treat Israel as friendly nation or a legitimate entity. All of this also doesn't mean that at a certain moment or at a proper moment, we will not negotiate with the enemy. Given the political circumstances, we are positive of achieving our national goal through political means.
And once again, Hamas is clarifying that Meshal meant no such thing. Palestine News Network writes:
The Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas" denied alleged statements attributed to politburo chief Khaled Meshaal about the issue of recognition of the occupation.
Hamas said in a statement Tuesday evening "the issue of whether to recognize the occupation are lies attributed to him, alleging that he began to spin [the idea] in the Israeli press statements."
It stressed that these fabricated allegations are "aimed at distorting the image of the movement its leadership," asserting that the movement and its leadership has well-known, unchanged positions to refuse to recognize the Israeli occupation.
The Hamas movement called on the media to investigate the accuracy and objectivity in dealing with the positions of the movement and the statements of its leaders.
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