Moscow: Hamas not to recognize Israel
Hamas will not recognize Israel despite pressure from Russia to do so during talks in Moscow, a senior leader of the movement said on Saturday. Musa Abu Marzouk, Hamas' deputy political leader, told Reuters in an interview that recognizing Israel would negate all Palestinian rights. "We believe that Israel has no right to exist", he added later in remarks to an Arab audience. "Hamas will never take such a step."
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday said Hamas had agreed to a year-long ceasefire with Israel, on condition of the latter refraining from any use of force during that time. "Hamas confirmed its willingness not to withdraw from the March 2005 inter-Palestinian agreement on a cease-fire on the understanding that Israel will also refrain from use of force," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Earlier, Hamas delegation head Khaled Mashaal said in Moscow that his movement would not hold negotiations with the incumbent Israeli government.
“Arafat had been holding negotiations for a decade, and Israel eventually killed Arafat. Do you want Hamas to be killed?” he said in answer to a question about possible contacts with Tel Aviv.
According to ITAR-TASS, Mashaal said he hopes that “people of Israel will elect a government, which will not take the path of war and aggression, as it was done by the previous ten governments.” The Israeli military machinery “appeared to be incapable of peace,” he said.