Hamas has denied a report that its leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshaal, told Jordan's King Abdullah that he accepts the idea of a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel.
Hamas said in a statement that the report was baseless and that Meshaal did not address the two-state solution in his meeting with the Jordanian king in Amman on Monday. A senior Hamas official also denied the report, and said recognizing the two-state solution would indicate acceptance of Israel's occupation of Palestine.
Hamas, the main Palestinian militant group, currently governs the Gaza Strip and is a fervent opponent of Israel. In December, Meshaal declared, "We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take."
According to the deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, Meshaal discussed with King Abdullah the inner-Palestinian reconciliation issue and its future in light of the Israeli and American elections. Abu Marzouk also said the king expressed his support of the inner-Palestinian reconciliation attempt, saying it forms the basis to bolster the Palestinian people's unity, adding that only through unity could they achieve their legitimate rights, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Earlier, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, citing a Saudi paper's report based on Jordanian officials' comments, reported that Meshaal expressed his organization’s support for an agreement that would establish an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders.
The report also said that Meshaal asked King Abdullah to convey his message of a two-state solution to US President Barack Obama during a meeting scheduled for the end of February.
I do not think Hamas will agree to a two-state solution, the reason being that Hamas' charter holds that Israel has no right to exist. Therefore, it is impossible for Meshaal to agree to a two-state solution.
Still, let's suppose for a moment that Hamas has agreed to a two-state solution. Can anyone from the international community force Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders, so that a Palestinian state can be established with Jerusalem as its capital? Not even America could compel Israel to do that. At the same time, every US president since 1992 has called on Hamas to recognize Israel and to disarm, reject terrorism and work toward peace. However, they never ask Israel to halt killings, land theft and imprisoning Palestinians.
Palestinians know the American people are good people. They love justice and peace. For this, they are asking their leaders not to look to the Palestinian issue through the lens of Zionism, which cares only for Israel's security and neglects all the rights of the Palestinian people.
Certainly nothing on the ground encourages Hamas to think of recognizing Israel. It has been more than 20 years of negotiations with Israel. The negotiations officially started during the first term of US President Bill Clinton. Since that time, Palestinians have not been able to obtain any of their rights, and Israeli attacks have increased 500 percent. The international community should intervene seriously, at least once in life, to stop the Israeli assaults and work to help the Palestinian people establish their independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
It’s not only Hamas that refuses to recognize Israel. However, many Israelis, even among the government and religious parties, totally refuse the idea of recognizing Palestine!
Both parties need a lot more mutual cooperation, or else the region could become a lot harder to live in, even without the threats of violence.