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Friday, November 23, 2012


In an interview in Cairo with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday 23 November 2012, Hamas’ political leader, Khaled Mashaal, cleverly realigned Hamas’ political position in relation to Palestinian statehood by taking advantage of Hamas’ new-found popularity among the Palestinians of the West Bank following the recent war between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Mashaal told Amanpour that, "I accept a Palestinian state according [to] the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return”, adding; "After this state is established, it decides its standing toward Israel". This now puts Hamas more in line with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah policy but with the added advantage of speaking for Palestinians in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

When asked if Hamas would renounce violence, he replied, "We are ready to resort to a peaceful way, purely peaceful way without blood or weapons". He added that such a move would be conditional on the acceptance of Palestinian demands, including; "the elimination of occupation and the (creation of a) Palestinian state and ending the occupation and the wall”.

Mashaal’s statement also dispels a growing notion among the Western right-wing, and particularly among neoconservatives, that the Gaza Strip has become a separate entity from the West Bank; and, it must be said, Hamas had considered the idea of becoming a state in its own right. Mashaal has now made it clear, however, that Hamas regards all Palestinians, no matter where they are, as part of what will one day be a sovereign state of Palestine. The move puts paid to Israel’s ‘divide and rule’ policy in which it attempted to weaken Palestinian solidarity by ‘wedging’ the two groupings. Mashaal has solidly and inexorably linked the Gaza Strip’s future to the West Bank’s in the push to create a Palestinian state for all Palestinian people.

It’s a very clever political move by Hamas and is bound to weaken the grip on power of Mahmoud Abbas who many consider corrupt and well past his use-by date.

One can see why neocon warhawks like Max Boot were so keen for Netanyahu to re-invade the Gaza Strip.

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