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Mashaal rejects land swap with Israel
Published Thursday 02/05/2013 (updated) 08/05/2013 15:03
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas politburo chief Khalid Mashaal on Thursday rejected an Arab League endorsement of land swaps between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking with the Al Jazeera, Mashaal said any such concession would harm the Palestinian cause. The plan was announced on Monday after Arab League officials met with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mashaal said the Kerry-backed plan was a bid to find economic peace between Arab states and Israel by integrating it into the region.

The Hamas leader said the movement was prepared to use all available options to liberate the Palestinian territories and that it was his goal to do so over the next four years. He further pledge greater efforts to release Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

Kerry met with Arab League officials to discuss the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, whereby 22 Arab states would agree to normalizing ties with Israel in a return from territory it occupied in 1967.

Israel's lead peace negotiator Tzipi Livni Tuesday praised as "important" a concession.

Hamas keen on implementing unity deal

Mashaal also said Hamas was prepared to implement a unity deal with rival faction Fatah, whose movement currently dominates the Palestinian Authority. The unity deal, he said, should be based on partnership and the holding of elections.

He denied any involvement in Egyptian security issues and said Egypt recognised Hamas as a legitimate entity.

His comments follow reports that President Mahmoud Abbas will head to Cairo in May to advance the unity deal.

Egypt is expected to push for a Palestinian unity government after the meeting as well as a date for elections.

Meanwhile, Fatah leader Faisal Abu Shahla told Ma'an that there were no plans for meetings between Fatah and Hamas.

Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up a caretaker government of independents to pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections within 12 months, but its implementation stalled over the government's make-up.


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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
02/05/2013 09:58
Heard a lot about unity deal between Fatah & Hamas from both parties including some arab countries. Time for talking is over and get on with reconciliation. If Palestinians can't unite themselves, there is no chance at all that peace can be achieve with Israel.

2 ) Ahhhh, what a shame / and in ISRAEL
02/05/2013 10:56
the left is already CELEBRATING THE COMING PEACE!

3 ) muff diver / Germay
02/05/2013 12:12
They do not want land swaps, they want the Jewish State of Israel, lock stock and barrel.

4 ) Reject Reality & / Reject Statehood
02/05/2013 15:03
- Mashaal more than just "rejects land swap with Israel". He also rejects the existance of Israel anywhere on once British Mandate lands, and
- If Palestine is ever going to become a real state, with real borders,
it's leaders will have to accept Israel as a Jewish state, East jerusalem being in that state, land swaps without a 1967 baseline, no refugee return, etc. !!

5 ) Bemused / New Zealand
02/05/2013 16:12
Israel's refusal to accept the 1967 borders is more evidence of its bad faith on top of its criminal behaviour, while Mashaal shows there is at least one principled party willing to adhere to international law and UN Resolutions guaranteeing Palestinian territorial integrity and the right of return for its displaced peoples.

6 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
02/05/2013 16:14
Regarding this will-never-amount-to-a-damn-pile-of-hummus, turning-the-historical-clock-back-46-damn-years, Saudi Arabian-and-Arab-League-endorsed-land-trading plan (based on 1967 "borders"), Mashaal is among the most honest observers of what he believes and says. At least Hamas knows this land-trading camel sh*t is utterly worthless and dead from the start. I applaud him for being forthright. Regarding our Tzipi Livni, I love her but she's light-years behind current (and future) reality.

7 ) Outlier / USA
02/05/2013 18:54
Hamas should mind its own business, which currently is Gaza.

8 ) Tony B? / ME
02/05/2013 21:10
"Hamas politburo chief Khalid Mashaal on Thursday rejected an Arab League endorsement of land swaps between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories."

I think most savvy Israelis will reject them too. They already tried swapping Gaza for peace, only to get a terrorist enclave on their western border. What's the point of doing something that would create a similar situation on the eastern border?


9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
02/05/2013 22:43
More proof that peace is a harder fight than ever. We want peace. Most Palestinians want peace. Hamas wants war and to make more martyrs. Unfotunately, the Arab "Spring" is pushing the way of martyrdom, not freedom.

10 ) Maashal Could / Become Irrelevant
03/05/2013 15:56
Recent 1967 Lines are as dead in theory & practice, as ancient lines during the Jewish kingdoms, where:
- Palestinians have NO More & No Less Legitimate Claims to lands,
recently controlled by other Arab states (Jordan & Egypt) than
- Jews have Legitimate Claims to the lands of controlled by King David, so
- IF AN ARAB INITIATIVE OFFERED RECOGNITION to a Jewish state,
in exchange FOR PROVIDING SOME ADDITIONAL LANDS TO THE PA,
THEN PEACE TALKS WOULD HAVE A GOOD CHANCE TO SUCCEED.

11 ) Without Concessions there is / NO Future
07/05/2013 02:24
Such small concessions are the ONLY WAY TO HELP the Palestinian cause, and much larger concessions will also be required if the Palestinian cause is ever to make any significant progress, beyond the borders of Gaza, and the West Bank's Areas A & B, and Prosperous Israel is prepared to wait another 65 or even 650 years, while Stagnating Palestine refuses to make such small and large concessions !!

12 ) ian / australia
07/05/2013 06:00
The more views the merrier. And the more things are discussed PUBLICLY the better. Fatah/Abbas/PLO will consider "land swaps", ie. final stage adjustments to the '67 line through agreed exchanges of territory of equivalent value. Meshaal/Zahar/Hamas insist on the Armistice Line with "not an inch of land swaps". Very well. An internal Palestinian difference. So what is Israel's position? The more the issues are aired, the clearer it is that Israel has NONE beyond blanket rejection of

13 ) ian / australia
07/05/2013 06:02
(contd.) ALL Palestinian overtures. The Israeli "offer" can be inferred by totalling up what's left after everything they reject is removed and what remains is so greedy, so absurdly mean-spirited and so patently non-viable as a state, it's clear why they won't spell it out publicly! The Palestinians (IMHO) should force them to, should keep pressing them to come clean on how they REALLY see the "two-state solution" and to reveal it to international scrutiny and ridicule.

14 ) shirley / australia
07/05/2013 11:55
there is no mention of concessions how can you get concessions fro m al out of that AL land swaps were part of old al peaace plan egypt said mimnamal land swaps it is the pa that have done this and pressured al to go along with endorsing minimal land swaps which abbass is well aware will end up with large areas disloctaedthis is what abbass and asharwi and co agreed to im 2007 only hamas stopped it but hanas have little to say as US EU have made sure that the PA are considered the only spokesper

15 ) Outlier / USA
07/05/2013 21:59
When he realizes he is a bystander in any peace process, he will change his tune.

16 ) Peace lover / Wales
18/05/2013 08:56
Mmmm Tony B - Gaza was never Israel's to swop .....
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