Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Monday that it was clear that US President Barack Obama's platform was not so different from the one adopted by former US president George W. Bush. According to Zahar, the 1967 borders, while "sacred," were not the final borders on which the Palestinians should settle.
At AIPAC, Obama defends his formulation for Mideast peace
Jordanian king: No hope for progress in peace talks
Speaking to Al-Emirate Al-Youm, Zahar asked "Why won't we talk about the 1948 borders? Why won't we discuss the partition plan which was internationally recognized?"
Obama reiterated his statements from last Thursday
at an annual AIPAC meeting in the US that a Palestinian state should be based on the 1967 lines with
mutually agreed land swaps, which had sparked outrage from many in the
According to Zahar, Obama "wants to keep us on 22% of the area of Palestine, and talks about the possibility of swapping land, including Jerusalem...and he wants us to give Jerusalem to the occupation in return for 5% of historic Palestine, which is originally our land. This is a great trick."
Zahar also said it was likely that Obama uses the US veto in the UN "against Muslims"
in the issue of the settlement freeze. In February 2011 the Obama
administration had exercised its first UN Security Council veto
nixed a resolution calling Israeli settlements “illegal” and demanding
they be immediately halted sparking heavy criticism by many the Arab,
The Hamas leader also mentioned that even while Israel and the US have
both before called for a settlement freeze, no monitor was ever put in
place to make sure this occurred.
Zahar also mentioned Palestinian governmental affairs, saying that the
reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah did not come with an
attached timetable. He said that any times, figures, or speculations put
forth by the news media is incorrect.
The Hamas leader said the government would be formed on "national
consensus," and that without consent of all factions, "especially that
of Fatah and Hamas, there will not be a government, and as for the
characteristics and details of the government a special committee will
be established that will choose a president and ministers." Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report.