Hamas’s political chief Khaled Mashaal has apparently expressed his support for a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Arab conflict, the Saudi Al-Sharq newspaper reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, which was based on comments from Jordanian officials, during a meeting this week with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Mashaal expressed his organization’s support for an agreement that would see the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders.
Mashaal asked King Abdullah to inform U.S. President Barack Obama that his organization supports the two-state solution, the Jordanian officials told Al-Sharq. The king is expected to convey the message to Obama in a meeting scheduled for the end of February, the report said.
Last November, Mashaal claimed in a CNN interview that Hamas would accept a Palestinian state along the indefensible pre-1967 borders but would refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
“I accept a state of the 1967 [borders]. How can I accept Israel? They have occupied my land. I need recognition, not the Israelis. This is a reversed question,” he claimed.
“I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return,” added Mashaal.
Just several weeks later Mashaal visited Gaza and rejected ceding "an inch of Palestinian territory” to Israel or recognizing the Jewish State.
“Palestine is our land and nation from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it," he said.
"Resistance is the right way to recover our rights, as well as all forms of struggle -- political, diplomatic, legal and popular, but all are senseless without resistance," added Mashaal.
Hamas’s charter states that the terror group will never recognize Israel.
Meanwhile, senior Palestine Liberation Organization negotiator Saeb Erekat welcomed Hamas's approval of the two-state solution, saying it reveals the tendency of the movement to cooperate with the PLO’s political platform.
Erekat told Al-Sharq that the Hamas’s decision stems from its willingness to pave the way for reconciliation with its longtime rival, Fatah.
"Hamas has to maintain this orientation in case of a future revival of talks with the Israeli side, as the two-state solution signifies the cornerstone of the PLO's position towards the peace process," he was quoted by the Egyptian Al-Ahram daily as having said.