Hamas is ready to recognize Israel if Palestinians are given full rights and a state in occupied lands. That is the message from the man chosen by the militant group to lead a new government, after its victory in last month’s Palestinian elections. Prime-Minister designate Ismail Haniyeh made the comments in an interview with a US newspaper.
While rejecting talks with the Jewish state, Hamas has signalled a readiness to accept interim peace deals with Israel, after US-led threats to withhold funding to the Palestinians, unless the group changes its stance.It is also under pressure from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who says he will resign if he is no longer in a position to pursue his peacemaking agenda when the new Hamas administration takes over. How to deal with Hamas is also a key issue for the Israeli cabinet. Acting Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert was holding talks today with a top US envoy. It is thought they will agree on ways for Washington to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians without going through a Hamas-led government.