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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One cheer for AFP

AFP, alone among major news wire services, noticed that Hamas' supposed new moderation was illusory:
The Islamist Hamas group in the Gaza Strip on Monday reiterated its aim to recover all of historic Palestine from the Mediterranean to Jordan, as it prepared to mark its 23rd anniversary.
Ismail Haniya, the senior Hamas leader in Gaza, had said on December 1 that the organisation would accept a peace deal with Israel if the Palestinian people approved it in a referendum.
"We say that Palestine from the sea to the (Jordan) river is fully the land of the Palestinians. We will cede none of it, and we will not recognise the so-called state of Israel," Hamas said in a statement.
It added that its intention was to make Jerusalem the "capital of the state of Palestine," and pledged "the failure of all methods of Judaisation" of the holy city by Israel.
On December 1, Haniya said: "We accept a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the land occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the issue of refugees."
His statement had appeared to signal a shift in the group's long-standing policy of refusing to accept either Israel's legitimacy or any peace treaty negotiated by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
All of this information is easily available to anyone who bothers reading the Arabic press (here's an example from today.) It is really sad that what should be a simple piece of reporting - one that should have accompanied Haniyeh's reported comments, not followed them by nearly two weeks - is only available in one major English-language wire service.

They don't get three cheers because they didn't notice it earlier and for their gratuitous use of "Historic Palestine" as being from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, which is a myth.