Former Palestinian foreign minister and a Hamas leader, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, wondered Tuesday where Israel exists, saying his movement will lose confidence in the national unity government, should it not fulfil its duties properly.

In response to claims that the Islamist group (Hamas) will eventually recognize Israel, given it latest political orientation, Alzahar wondered where exactly Israel geographically exists. “Where are Israel’s borders? Israel has no boundaries and no constitution. Israel was established by a gang, at the expense of the Palestinian people”, Alzahar was quoted.

In 1948, Israel occupied more than 72 percent of historical Palestine, displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into nearby Arab countries and the Diaspora. In 1967, Israel took over the remaining parts of historical Palestine, known as the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

Alzahar dismissed any possibility that his movement might recognize Israel at any time, reiterating Hamas’s principles of not recognizing Israel and continuing resisting the Israeli occupation. On another issue, Alzahar believed there has been a conspiracy against the Palestinian interior minister, Hani Alqawasmi, aimed at stripping him of his authorities.

Hamas has recently objected to the appointment by President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah’s leader Mohammad Dahalan as top security aide, calling the appointment ‘illegal’. The Interior minister, Mr. Alqawasmi, attempted to resign early this week, yet his resignation was rejected by the Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas.

Speaking to the IMEMC earlier this week, a spokesman of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian cabinet, Ghazi Hammad attributed the attempted resignation to financial, administrative and logistic reasons. In the meantime, local media reports said the reason was ‘lack of cooperation among security officials on the implementation of a security plan. The plan was announced by Alqawasmi 10 days before his resignation.

Alzahar conffirmed that unless the current Palestinian unity government assumes its responsibilities properly, his movement will seek a no-confidence vote against it in the Palestinian parliament. Alzahar’s statements came concurrent with Hamas’s Ezzildin Alqssam brigades’ termination of the five-month old ceasefire agreement with Israel yesterday, as well as the Palestinian government’s inability to contain ongoing internal unrest. Hamas agreed in late February to a coalition government with rival the Fatah party along with other Palestinian blocs. This was a bid to end internal violence and lift the international embargo which was imposed on the Palestinians when Hamas took power after last January 2006’s elections.The international quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union) is still demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and agree to past signed agreements with Israel.