A senior Hamas leader on Thursday said that if the terror group came to power in a future 'Palestinian state,' it would not abide by any previous peace agreements with Israel.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, the Hamas politburo's number-two, says any potential deal, even if ratified in a popular referendum, would be considered to be merely a hudna, or temporary truce agreement.
Abu Marzouk's remarks underline Hamas' stance that it considers itself to be at perpetual war with Israel so long as the Jewish state continues to exist.
His remarks were published Thursday in the US-based Jewish Daily Forward. It was the first such interview by a senior Hamas leader to a Jewish publication. Israel's Hebrew-language press carried the interview Friday.
They are significant in that they underscore the growing weakness of longtime politburo-chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal after the rise of Hamas as the ruling power in Gaza.
Mashaal has tentatively accepted the notion of a state on the 1967 borders, and offered PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas a one-year mandate for negotiations with Israel – but has been effectively overridden Hamas leaders in Gaza.
The Fatah-Hamas unity deal Mashaal brokered with Abbas in Qatar earlier this year has also met with stiff resistance from the terror groups Gaza faction, who fear the loss of influence a unity government would entail.
Abu Marzouk spoke from Cairo after having fled the Hamas politburo's longtime base in Syria due to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown there.
His remarks echo previous statements by the top Hamas leaders in Gaza – Ismael Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar – than any peace agreement with Israel would only serve as a "prelude to war."