Sheikh Yassin: Hamas ready to new truce, Saddam arrest - blow to Palestinians
Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin said in remarks published Friday that his movement would not agree to a new truce that is not be respected by Israel and that it would not cease attacks on Israeli civilians as long as the Israel targets Palestinian civilians.
"Hamas will not commit the same mistake in agreeing on a new truce with Israel which will not be respected by the latter," Yassin told Saudi magazine Al-Majallah.
Yassin said, however, that his movement was ready for a new truce "on the condition that the countries that want this truce give guarantees" to Hamas.
These guarantees include "respect for the truce by Israel, and an end to the occupation and aggression against the Palestinian people."
"Hamas will not halt attacks on Israeli civilians as long as Israeli forces do not cease attacks on Palestinian civilians," said Yassin, who did not rule out the possibility that "the armed branch of Hamas could target Israeli officials including (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon, in retaliation for the assassination of top Hamas officials by Israeli forces."
Commenting on the December 13 arrest of Saddam Hussein by US-led forces in Iraq, Yassin described the former president's capture as "a loss" for the Palestinian cause.
"We have lost an Arab leader who rejected the Zionist plan on the land of Palestine ... who refused to recognise Israel".
"If he had remained (in power), he would have represented a threat to Israel, in the future ... apart from the financial aid he gave fighters, in particular the martyrs (suicide bombers)," Yassin said.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)