Hamas overall leader Khaled Mashal on Monday said that his group wants to alter the terms of the current land-for-peace process to offer Israel a 10-year ceasefire instead of full peace in return for a full withdrawal to the Jewish state's pre-1967 border.
In an interview with The New York Times at his home in Damascus, Mashal said, "We are with a state on the 1967 borders, based on a long-term truce. This includes East
Jerusalem, the dismantling of settlements and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees [sic]."
When asked what he meant by "long term," Mashal said 10 years.
Mashal further clarified that the peace agreement he envisions does not include him or any other Palestinian recognizing Israel's right to exist, and certainly not to exist as "the Jewish state."
The Times and other international and left-wing Israeli media headlined their coverage of the interview by declaring that Hamas was on board with the two-state solution, a purported breakthrough toward peace.
Hamas won a landslide victory in the last Palestinian general election, and recent polls suggest it will do even better when the Palestinians go to the polls sometime later this year. If Hamas seizes both a majority in the parliament and the presidency, it is expected to make the above the new terms of the peace process.
Whether or not that will have any impact on international pressure for Israel to meet Palestinian terms for peace is yet to be determined.
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