In an interview published Thursday in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, a Hamas spokesman said that the jihadist movement is loyal to "Palestinian principles" in its policy of terrorism against the Jews until Israel ceases to exist.
Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas claimed earlier this month that Hamas had agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman in Lebanon and close associate of powerful Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal, rejected the idea, however.
Hamas, Hamdan explained, has never agreed and will never agree to any recognition of Israel's legitimacy as a sovereign state. An agreement to temporary borders contradicts this position, as it would constitute acceptance of Jewish sovereignty over the pre-1967 borders of Israel, he added.
The Hamas plan is based on obtaining a Palestinian state by force of arms, Hamdan said, "not by way of agreements, a path that has failed." In fact, the Hamas spokesman told Al-Hayat that negotiations between his movement and Abbas' Fatah group reached an impasse over acceptance of the Quartet's call for an end to Arab "resistance" operations; i.e., terrorism. The Quartet - the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia - is involved in pushing for negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Hamdan emphasized further that, in fact, it is Hamas that is remaining loyal to "basic Palestinian principles" in fighting against any agreements with Israel.
Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are formulating a new peace plan that calls for a demilitarized, temporary Palestinian state in half of Judea and Samaria. While the PA has not accepted the plan, Hamdan claimed that PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad supports the idea of a temporary state. Fayyad, claimed Hamdan, has prepared a plan to declare a Palestinian state in 2011.
Saeb Erekat, a leading Palestinian Authority spokesman, said that the PA will not unilaterally declare independence. Rather, it will ask the United Nations Security Council to recognize the principle of "two states for two peoples" and affirm the right of the PA to sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.