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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Hamas-led Palestinian government will accept the Saudi Initiative, thereby recognizing Israel, MK Taleb A-Sanaa told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday, following a meeting with Hamas parliamentarians.
"They are adopting the Arab Peace Initiative that was passed by the Arab League in Beirut," said A-Sanaa. "This is their plan."
The Arab Peace Initiative is also known as the Saudi Initiative and the Beirut Declaration, because it was the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, and was delivered at the March 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut.
It offers Israel peace with all its Arab neighbors in exchange for justly solving the Palestinian refugee problem, fully withdrawing from territories occupied in 1967, and allowing the creation of a viable Palestinian state. All 22 members of the League of Arab States - including Syria and Saddam Hussein's Iraq - unanimously endorsed it. Israel dismissed the offer.
At the Arab League Summit in Khartoum in March, the representatives of the 22-member organization asked the Hamas government to accept the Arab initiative. Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar told reporters after the meeting that he would relay the message to his government "to examine the issue."
A-Sanaa noted that Hamas maintained a tahdiyeh, or period of quiet, for the last 14 months, "but the [Israeli] government continually breaks it." After his meeting with Sheikh Mohammed Abu Teir at the latter's east Jerusalem home, A-Sanaa said that Hamas has agreed to continue the tahdiyeh.
A-Sanaa said that Hamas accused the Israeli government of a campaign of delegitimization. "They did it to Arafat, they did it to Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas], and now to the new government," said A-Sanaa. "The reason the Israeli government does this is because it does not want to end the conflict by ending the occupation and removing the settlements."
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