Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and US President Donald Trump.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The exiled leader of the Palestinian terror organization Hamas issued a "plea" on Wednesday to US President Donald Trump to reject the "wrong approaches of the past" concerning Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Khaled Meshaal, speaking to CNN from a secure location in Doha, Qatar, said that the White House has a "historic opportunity" to arrive at an "equitable solution" for the Palestinian people, adding that America can "stop the darkness that [Palestinians] have been suffering from for many years."
"This is a plea from me to the Trump administration, the new American administration: Break out from the wrong approaches of the past and which did not arrive at a result. And perhaps to grab the opportunity presented by Hamas's document,
" Meshaal said.
In an effort to improve its regional and international relations, the Gaza Strip’s ruling party on Monday released a policy document that nominally softens its official position on Israel while still calling for “the complete liberation of Palestine.”
The document labels as “a national consensus” the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines with the return of refugees to their homes in Israel. However, it also “rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
Israel almost immediately rejected the document, calling it an effort to "dupe" the international community.
Meshaal's comments came just hours before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Trump are schedule to meet, with Middle East peace talks set as a priority.
Trump has expressed a desire to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, describing it as "the ultimate deal."
But Trump appeared to break away from the traditional approach of past US administrations concerning the two-state solution, saying during a February press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like ... I can live with either one."
Meshaal later said during the interview that Hamas's launching of rockets into civilian centers in Israel were in response to "daily Israeli aggression," adding that such attacks were acts of "resistance, not violence."
The Hamas leader also stated that the terror organization would not "abandon what little it has to defend itself," and stop its building of tunnels used to smuggle in goods and weapons.