Hamas official promises Israel never-ending war

By Ben Hartman, April 26, 2012
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Pledge:  Marzook

Pledge: Marzook

A senior Hamas official last week said that the terror group would not be bound by any deals reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israel if democratic elections bring them to power in a future Palestinian state.

During an interview with the Forward, the first interview given by a top Hamas leader to a Jewish news organisation, the deputy director of Hamas's political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzook, said that Hamas would view any deal reached between the PA and Israel as a form of long-term ceasefire or hudna, and not a final-status agreement.

Mr Marzook said Hamas would not recognise Israel as a state and the relations would resemble those between Israel and Syria or Lebanon - de facto states of war.

He also said he would not travel to Jerusalem to sign such an agreement with Israel, even if his safety were to be ensured. Mr Marzook's statement contradicts Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, who said recently that the terror group would uphold agreements reached between the PA and Israel if they had the support of the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, tensions are brewing and communication has come to a halt between the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmoud Abbas, and its prime minister, Salaam Fayyad.

The trigger for this latest spat was Mr Fayyad's refusal to deliver a letter from Mr Abbas to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Al-Quds al-Arabi reported on Monday.

Sources told the Palestinian-backed newspaper that Mr Abbas was refusing to take Mr Fayyad's phone calls and refusing to meet Mr Fayyad to discuss reshuffling the cabinet.

In lieu of Mr Fayyad, Mr Abbas on Tuesday sent the lower-ranking Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, along with West Bank intelligence chief Majid Faraj to meet Mr Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Al-Quds al-Arabi said the episode was a cause of significant embarrassment for Mr Abbas.

The letter proposed a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines and a complete end to settlement activity in the West Bank.

Last updated: 1:38pm, April 26 2012