Mashaal: Israel has 1 year to recognize Palestinian state

Hamas leader says group not planning armed conflict if Israel does not meet deadline; Hamas says it will not join renewed peace negotiations.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 Reu (photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 Reu
(photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that he gives the Israeli government a one-year deadline to recognize an independent Palestinian state founded on lands occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem as its capital, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
Mashaal added that the challenge does not necessarily imply an armed conflict should Israel fail to recognize an independent Palestinian state, but that "[Hamas] would add new cards to the resistance," Ma'an reported.  The Hamas leader gave his statement during a meeting with youth activists who demonstrated in the recent Egyptian revolution against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
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According to Ma'an, Mashaal told Cairo-based newspaper The Wall Street General that Hamas and Fatah had discussed at length the appropriate manner to conduct resistance against Israel, which included discussions of armed conflict. The two Palestinian groups signed a reconciliation agreement last week, which ended a years-long conflict between the factions and began discussions on the formation of a Palestinian unity government.
Mashaal said that any future armed conflict with Israel would have to be coordinated between Fatah and Hamas.
In related news, Hamas said it would not renew peace-negotiations with Israel, Al-Jazeera reported. The Palestinian group's comments came after President Shimon Peres said he was not ruling out the possibility of future negotiations.
Al-Jazeera quoted a senior Hamas official as saying it was not a part of Hamas's strategy to conduct talks with "either Peres or the Zionist entity." He added that negotiations "are a means to stall and allot time to [to Israel] to dedicate its attention to facts on the ground."