Zahar: We'll accept state in '67 borders, but not Israel

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 11, 2011 14:26

Senior Hamas official says the group will never recognize Israel, hopes that "next generation will liberate the land," including Israel.

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Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar

Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311. (photo credit:Reuters)

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said on Wednesday Hamas would be willing to accept a state on 1967 borders.

Hamas would accept a Palestinian state "on any part of Palestine," he said in an interview with Palestinian news agency Ma'an. Hamas has previously said it is willing to temporarily accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The ultimate goal, however, would be a state of "Palestine in its entirety," Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told Charlie Rose last year.

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At the same time, Zahar said that Hamas would not recognize Israel, because doing so would "cancel the right of the next generation to liberate the land." He added that recognition of Israel could lead to Palestinian refugees losing their right of return.

"What will be the fate of the five million Palestinians in the diaspora?" Zahar asked.

The Hamas leader told the Palestinian news agency that his faction's unity deal with Fatah, which included maintaining a ceasefire with Israel is "part of the resistance, not a cancellation." He added that "a truce is not peace."

Zahar also said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not visit Gaza soon. One of the reasons, he said, is that he can not guarantee that "Israel will not send its infiltrators to shoot Abbas" or that some Palestinians may "come out and throw rocks at him."

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