Khaled Mashaal, head of the political bureau of the ruling Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas party said in an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite channel that Hamas will be willing to take serious steps towards peace if Israel does that.
Mashaal added that the international community should not ask Hamas and the Palestinian People to take steps such as recognizing Israel or adopt the road map at a time Israel never approved it, and the American administration backed on it.
"If the International community pressures Israel to withdraw from all the Palestinian land occupied in 1967 including Jerusalem, recognizes the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their land and releases all the Palestinian prisoners from their jails, Hamas and all the Arabs will be ready to take serious steps towards peace," Mashaal told the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya channel.
Mashaal headed a Hamas delegation to Russia in which they met with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov few days ago. Hamas delegation reiterated Hamas’s stance of not recognizing Israel.
Hamas is under pressure by the International community to recognize Israel in order to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.
Israel has stopped negotiations with the Palestinians a while ago and conducted a unilateral disengagement plan, in which it withdrew its soldiers and settlers from all the Gaza Strip settlements and four minor settlements in the northern West Bank.
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ihud Olmert said he will carry out another unilateral withdrawal from some West Bank settlements if his newly formed party Kadima wins the elections.
Kadima is facing a serious blow now as three of his key figures, are facing corruption charges.
Former member of Knesset Omri Sharon, son of the ailing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Ihud Olmert and minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi were all in the eye of the new storm of corruption Monday as law-enforcement and judicial authorities continued investigating various allegations of their misconduct.