Jul 1 2010
Hamas says it will NOT change its position of denying Israel's existence even if it would mean an invitation to the White House for Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal
In talking about his ‘secret’ meetings with the Obama Regime, Senior Hamas leader says the White House is jumping through hoops to try to engage the group that remains on the State Department’s terrorist list.
The Hamas figure told WND the U.S. is willing to make public its relations with Hamas if his group moderates its vision. He said Hamas was also asked to negotiate the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as part of a larger rapprochement with Israel. But the Hamas leader told WND his group would not change its long-term position to reject Israel’s existence even if that would translate into an invitation for Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshaal to visit Washington.
The senior Hamas official did say his group is willing to accept a 10-year renewable cease-fire with Israel if the Jewish state withdrew to what is known as the pre-1967 borders – which means the entire West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.
The Hamas leader’s comments to WND follow a report in the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabia quoting a Hamas figure stating official and unofficial U.S. sources have asked the terrorist group to refrain from making any public statements regarding contacts with Washington. That report also claimed a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the Obama administration.
Last June, Thomas Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and the U.N. as well as former secretary of state Madeleine Albright’s deputy in the Clinton administration, met in Geneva with two Hamas leaders – Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’ health minister, while al-Zahar is the chief of Hamas in Gaza.
Also last year, former President Jimmy Carter visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where he met with Hamas officials. Yousef said, however, Carter is the “right person” to serve as a middle man between Hamas and the Obama administration.