A senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has restated the group's refusal to concede or swap any part of historic Palestine, or recognise the Israeli occupation. Salah al-Bardaweel said that Hamas believes that Palestine is a land for Palestinians and any kind of partition is rejected.
Speaking in response to an announcement by the Arab foreign ministers' delegation to Washington that they would agree to "limited" land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians, Mr Al-Bardaweel said that Hamas has always been opposed to the Arab League's Peace Initiative since it was first mooted in 2002. "Hamas has had a clear stance towards the initiative from the beginning," he said. "As far as we are aware, it includes a bundle of other concessions on the right to return and recognition of the Israeli occupation which clash with our views."
Hamas, he claimed, was surprised to see the foreign ministers renewing the initiative after almost a decade, especially on the basis of an agreed land swap. "This reinforces and offers legitimacy to Israel's occupation and illegal settlements," he insisted.
Playing down the latest move by the Arab League, Al-Bardaweel added, "Like any initiative which ignores Palestinian rights, this will not be successful."