Head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, reiterated that his movement supported the establishment of a Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital without recognizing Israel while maintaining the resistance as a strategic option for liberating the Palestinian territories.
Speaking at the National Security Conference in Gaza and Lebanon, Haniyeh said: "While we are not opposed to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the 1967 territories, we refuse settlements and we adhere to our strategic choice not to recognize Israel.”
Haniyeh's rare announcement came as his movement began to hand over control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, following Egyptian efforts to help the Palestinians reach a lasting peace agreement.
The Palestinian Authority is demanding a Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and free from any Israeli settlements.
Hamas is currently preparing to participate in the Palestinian presidential and legislative elections and looks forward to joining the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
In his speech, Haniyeh called for the need to consolidate national unity, achieve reconciliation, restore accord and facilitate all factors of strength for Palestinians, stressing the need for holding presidential and legislative elections and forming a government of national unity.
The Hamas official said that “a common national and political program should be reached,” in which the interim situation and the strategic situation would be combined, in addition to dealing with pending issues while maintaining strategic options.
“We want to arrange the Palestinian home and, together, face the challenges imposed by the occupation,” he stressed. “Consolidating unity and asserting our right to resistance on the political and economic levels will be our utmost priority.”