Chief of the politburo of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, told reporters on Friday in Cairo that this moment carries an historic chance for peace in the region that should be well invested.
Chief of the politburo of Hamas, Khaled Masha’al, told reporters on Friday in Cairo that this moment carries an historic chance for peace in the region that should be well invested.
Mashaal’s comments came in a press conference held in the Egyptian capital after he met with senior Egyptian officials, prior to a tour in other Arab, Islamic and Western countries including Russia.
He said that all Palestinian factions agree to establish an independent Palestinian State with the borders that stood before June 4th, 1967. It would be established with Jerusalem as it's capital and the city would be free from settlements in accordance with United Nations resolutions 242 and 338. He called for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their land, according to the UN resolution 194.
This statement is seen by local observers as a clear change in Hamas’ old rhetoric of establishing the Palestinian state on all the land called Palestine before 1948. Masha’al demanded that the Arab and Islamic countries protect and sponsor the deal reached between the two rival Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas in Makkah a few weeks ago, in which they agreed to form a National Unity Government. Masha’al also asked them to help end the US-led economic and political blockade imposed on the Palestinian people, and to help prevent foreign interference in internal Palestinian affairs, hinting to Israel's and the US's remarks regarding working with some ministers in the upcoming Palestinian government and boycotting others.
He described the blockade as a crime committed by Israel and the United States against the Palestinian people, and said that following the Makkah agreement, Israel and the US have led a very strong campaign against the Palestinian legitimacy. On the other hand, Masha’al demanded that the international community break the blockade, especially after the Makkah agreement, saying that some European countries have already decided to allocate funds to the Palestinian government.
However, Masha’al refrained from mentioning these countries. He also demanded that the international community respect the Palestinian agreement and the Palestinian choice regarding the government by reviving ties with it. He asserted that this government has legitimacy from more than 90 percent of the Palestinians since it is a coalition between the majority and the opposition.
Meanwhile, the Hamas leader also demanded the immediate release of all the Palestinian members of parliament, Ministers and heads of municipal councils who have been kidnapped by Israel. Regarding Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured in the Gaza Strip, Masha’al said that Israel is the one who is delaying reaching a prisoner swap agreement, responding to Shalit’s father who accused Masha’al of obstructing the swap deal. Masha’al added, “I understand the feelings of Gilad Shalit’s father, but I also want to remind him that there are around 11 thousand Palestinian families awaiting their children, fathers and brothers release from Israeli jails.”