Hamas leader says he’ll move to a peaceful path contingent on the “end of the occupation” and Palestinian statehood.
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,” the Hamas leader told Christine Amanpour in Cairo.
Pushed about his party’s refusal to recognize Israel, Mashaal said such a declaration could only be made once a Palestinian state has been created.
“After this state is established, it decides its standing toward Israel,” the Hamas leader said.
Mashaal, whose interview appeared to move his positions closer and closer toward the positions of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority with whom Israel has conducted numerous round of negotiations, also spoke about Hamas’s use of violence and terrorism.
Asked if Hamas is willing to renounce violence, he said, “We are ready to resort to a peaceful way, purely peaceful way without blood or weapons.”
Such a move, however, would be conditional on the attainment of Palestinian national demands, namely, “the elimination of occupation and the (creation of a) Palestinian state and ending the occupation and the wall.”