Wed, March 09, 2011 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Hamas, PA against an ‘Interim Arrangement’ with Israel
In recent weeks the Israeli media reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu would deliver a speech presenting a new political plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Apparently, it will be an interim arrangement which can be implemented immediately. That is at variance with his former position of seeking a permanent arrangement which would include the core issues (Haaretz, February 26 and March 2, 2011).
In view of the speech Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to give, the International Quartet postponed the meeting which was supposed to take place in March (on an unknown date), apparently planning to wait until after the speech to hold it (Kuwaiti News Agency, March 2011).
In response senior members of the Palestinian Authority said that the PA would not discuss an interim arrangement with Israel:
– Nabil Abu Rudeina, presidential spokesman, said that the PA refused to reach a “temporary peace agreement” with Israel and that any solution which did not include complete Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, was unacceptable (Kuwaiti News Agency, March 1, 2011).
– Yasser Abd Rabbo, secretary of the PLO’s executive committee, also said that the Palestinians refused to sign a temporary or partial peace agreement with Israel and that any agreement had to be backed by international guarantees and include a solution for all the core issues, such as the 1967 territory, Jerusalem and a solution for the refugee problem (Kuwaiti News Agency, March 2, 2011).
Senior Hamas Figures Stress Rejection of an Arrangement with Israel
Senior Hamas figures continue to express harsh criticism of the possibility of reaching a solution to the conflict through an arrangement with Israel. Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas political bureau in Damascus, speaking in Khartoum, said that the time had come “to turn a new leaf” without negotiations with Israel and without bargaining for the “rights” of the Palestinians. He said that not one inch of the soil of “Palestine” or the so-called “”right of return”" was to be given up. He added that the Jewish demands on Jerusalem were based on “fabrications” of its history which obscured the Islamic and Christian nature of the city (Hamas’ Palestine-info website, March 6, 2011).
Khalil al-Haya, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said at a speech given in the Gaza Strip that as long as the “Israeli occupation” existed, the Palestinians’ relations with Israel would be characterized by “resistance” [i.e., violence and terrorism]. He claimed that Israel was a “foreign body” in the Middle East and “transitory.” He said that the territory of the State of Israel “from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river was Arab, Islamic land and that Israel had no right to it” (Hamas’ Palestine-info website, March 3, 2011).