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Monday, April 18, 2005

Hamas: Current calm a trick, pre-'67 borders not enough

Another excellent find by MEMRI:

A convention held by the Egyptian newspaper "Al-Ahram," which was attended by writers and experts on Palestinian affairs following the Palestinian Cairo agreement on calming down the situation [ Tahdiah ], also hosted the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mash'al. Speaking at the convention, Mash'al stated that the Tahdiah was a trick and that the resistance will continue as long as the occupation exists. Mash'al also expressed concern about the PA and Fatah taking over settlement lands after the withdrawal and stated that in the eyes of Hamas, there is no objection to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders as an interim solution. The following are excerpts from Mash'al's speech: [1]

We Agreed to the Tahdiah to Prevent an Internal Palestinian Implosion

"We have made an achievement in the Palestinian arena... We wanted to avoid the internal Palestinian implosion that Sharon wanted. He [Sharon] wished for dissent [among us] so that he [could] pressure Abu Mazen to confront the resistance... [With our consent] we avoided it. Our second goal was to send a message to the international community that the problem does not lie with the Palestinian people or the Palestinian resistance, [but rather] with the occupation... Our third goal was to give a chance and headspace to set the Palestinian house in order... Fourth, we strived to achieve, through the temporary initiative of Tahdiah, a chance to fulfill the Palestinian peoples' direct interests, such as releasing prisoners...

"... Every term has a special meaning, and our choice [of the term] Tahdiah is not incidental. A Hudna [cease fire] is an agreement whose terms are acceptable to both sides, but in the current situation there are no such terms. The Palestinian side is the weak one... we treat this Tahdiah as a Palestinian initiative conditional to the other side fulfilling the terms...

"… Hamas controls its military wing... and despite that fact that it is one of the largest factions of the resistance, it is highly capable of keeping its men disciplined. Tahdiah means Tahdiah [and when you talk of] escalation, there is escalation. There is a commitment and it is honored... In the eyes of Hamas, Tahdiah is a trick within the resistance plans, [but] in the eyes of the [Palestinian] Authority, Tahdiah is a step on the way out of the resistance plan... but we still give it a chance... we can be patient and suffer, but not from the perspective of those who want to be free of the Intifada..."

I Told Abu Mazen: "Beware, Less They Poison You as They Did Arafat"

"... As we draw near the end of the summer and the end of 2005, the following atmosphere will be created: The [diplomatic] settlement will be 'refrozen,' and one cannot deny the possibility that Sharon will blame Abu Mazen for being the obstacle for peace, just as Abu Ammar [Arafat] was considered one. Abu Mazen heard this from me, laughed, and said that 'this is a predictable and unsurprising scenario.' I replied: Beware, less they poison you as they did Arafat...

"... I cannot be satisfied with the 1967 borders alone and see them as a permanent solution... A Palestinian might say: 'Who gave you the right to forego the rights of Palestinians?' So Abu Mazen himself says, in his talks: 'I cannot forego the right of return.' It will be his political suicide, for there are 5-6 million whose problem must be solved. However, Hamas has no objection to accept the 1967 borders as an interim solution.