Hamas-affiliated journalist calls on group to hold negotiations with Israel

“If the negotiations are aimed at achieving general interests -without recognizing or making concessions to the enemy – then why should (Hamas) be afraid of direct or indirect negotiations?”

May 31, 2015 18:00
1 minute read.
Gaza Strip

Palestinians Hamas supporters take part in a rally ahead of the 27th anniversary of the movement founding, in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Mustafa al-Sawwaf, a prominent Palestinian journalist and political analyst from the Gaza Strip, on Sunday called on Hamas to hold negotiations with Israel.

He said that Hamas could negotiate with Israel over specific issues concerning the Gaza Strip without making political concessions such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

Sawwaf made the call in an article published in the Hamas-affiliated online newspaper Al-Resalah.

The article is titled, “Why should there be no negotiations?” It was the first time that a leading journalist with close ties to Hamas had come out in favor of negotiations with Israel.

He said that Hamas has no reason to fear negotiations with Israel as long as the movement is not required to make concessions.

“If the negotiations are aimed at achieving general interests – without recognizing or making concessions to the enemy – then why should [Hamas] be afraid of direct or indirect negotiations?” he asked.

Any agreement that would be reached between Hamas and Israel would not be “sacred” and could be revoked if Israel does not abide by it, he added.

“We need a real patron that would provide guarantees that the enemy would abide by any agreement,” the Palestinian journalist said. “But the patron should not be Egypt, which is working to achieve Israel’s interests at the expense of the interests of the Palestinian people.”

The negotiations should focus on “achieving the interests of each party,” Sawwaf said. Hamas and Israel should talk about a truce, the release of prisoners, lifting the blockade and establishing a seaport in the Gaza Strip. The talks over these issues should lead to agreements between the two sides, he pointed out.

Sawwaf stressed that even if Hamas holds negotiations with Israel, it would not abandon its plan to “liberate the land and establish a state after achieving the right of return, which we hope will take place soon.”

He also emphasized that the negotiations should not be held for the sake of talking. Hamas, he added, should avoid making the mistake Fatah made by recognizing Israel and “its right to exist on our land.”

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