Zahar: Palestinians should not settle for 1967 borders

Hamas leader says 1967 borders not enough, asks Obama why he wouldn't be willing to discuss 1948 borders.

May 23, 2011 14:30
2 minute read.
Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar

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


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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.

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?"  

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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 pro-Israel community.

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 when it nixed a resolution calling Israeli settlements “illegal” and demanding they be immediately halted sparking heavy criticism by many the Arab, Muslim world.

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.

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