Hamas to accept Israeli state?

Bowing to pressure from President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a major speech June 14 that he’d accept a Palestinian state—as long as it was demilitarized and recognized Israel as a Jewish state. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is now on a 10-day tour to gauge the international reaction. (Newsweek, June 16) While Netanyahu’s speech has won global headlines as an historic first for the hardline prime minister, we will now see if a reciprocal move by a senior Hamas leader will receive similar media treatment…

Meeting with ex-President Jimmy Carter in Gaza City over efforts to free Noam Shalit, the Israeli soldier abducted in the Strip in 2006, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said his organization would be “prepared to accept a state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.” He did not say whether this would just be part of a long-term truce, as Hamas has previously proposed, or if it meant Hamas is giving up its demand for Palestinian sovereignty from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. (Haaretz, June 17)

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