Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hamas lists Terms for Recognising Israel.

The Palestinian prime minister-designate Esmail Haniya said Hamas is "ready to recognise" Israel if it gives the Palestinian people their full rights and a state in lands occupied since 1967, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Esmail Haniya, a 43-year-old Gazan viewed by many Palestinians as a pragmatist, as the new prime minister after sweeping the elections on January 25. Hamas hopes to complete forming a Palestinian government within two weeks. "If Israel declares that it will give the Palestinian people a state and give them back all their rights, then we are ready to recognise them," Haniya said.

Haniya also said Hamas, was ready to consider talks with Israel if the Jewish state withdrew from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and recognized the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees who fled in the 1948 war and their descendants. "If Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, then we will establish a peace in stages," Haniya said. "We will establish a situation of stability and calm, which will bring safety for our people."

Israel, meanwhile, has already rejected the conditions Haniya imposed for such a peace, namely, ceding the entire West Bank and east Jerusalem, and allowing Palestinian refugees the right to return to Israel, where they could eventually outnumber Jews.

Haniya said: "We will review all agreements and abide by those that are in the interest of the Palestinian people." "The ones that will guarantee the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital with 1967 borders."

"We do not have any feelings of animosity toward Jews. We do not wish to throw them into the sea. All we seek is to be given our land back, not to harm anybody," he added. "We are not interested in a vicious cycle of violence," he added. "If peace brings us our rights, then this is good."

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