Hamas PM says group will not recognize Israel; Erekat calls on Netanyahu to "say the numbers 1-9-6-7" if he is serious about peace.
By JPOST.COM STAFFPublished: MAY 15, 2011 09:47Advertisement
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh spoke to Muslim worshipers on Sunday morning, telling them to pray for an end to Israel."Palestinians mark the Nakba with great hope of bringing to an end the Zionist project in Palestine," Haniyeh told 10,000 people at Gaza City's al-Omari mosque, AP reported.RELATED:10,000 police brace for expected 'Nakba Day' protestsSkepticism in east Jerusalem ahead of Nakba Day"To achieve our goals in the liberation of our occupied land, we should have one leadership," he reportedly said, praising the recent unity accord between Hamas and Fatah.Haniyeh added that Hamas would not recognize Israel.Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat on Sunday also commented on Nakba Day events, telling Israel Radio, "This is the day of my nakba, it is the day when my nation was interrupted. Sixty-three years later, we're still interrupted, we're still under occupation. If I want to go to Jerusalem, I still need to ask permission from one of your kids, your soldiers."Commenting about a plan in which Israel would agree to a Palestinian state on 1967 borders if the Palestinians agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Erekat said "Your title is the State of Israel, and that is how we recognize you. It's none of my business to determine who you are. I want to hear the numbers 1-9-6-7 from Netanyahu. Until we don't hear that, we're not going to waste our time.""We are ready for negotiations but Netanyahu has closed the doors on negotiations," the Palestinian official said. "He has ordered the demolition of homes, he has kicked people out, and has chosen the settlements."On the Hamas-Fatah unity deal posing a challenge to the peace process, Erekat said, "We haven't yet begun talking to Hamas. Abbas is still running the government. A month ago the prime minister [Netanyahu] said who shall I make negotiations with? Enough with this. You always find excuses. You don't want to see Palestinians complain, you don't want to see Palestinians at all!"The former PLO negotiator commented on Netanyahu blaming the PA for the recent resignation of US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, saying "I think the tsunami in Japan two months ago is blamed on us. We have accepted everything. The prime minister has foiled every step to advance talks. I believe Mitchell did a good job, but the prime minister foiled his mission."
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