In an interview with the German Der Spiegel Magazine, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar says that Israel is a foreign element in the Middle East and asks “why don't the Jews establish their state in Europe?” In an interview conducted a few months ago by the Chinese news agency, Zahar said he dreams of a map where Israel does not appear. Now, however he is ready for Israel to appear, but only in Europe.
As to the two-state solution, Zahar said that “we will never recognize Israel. The Zionists have occupied our land like the Nazis did with France during the Second World War.” In reference to the Palestinian unity government, Zahar said that they have accepted the paper on the establishment of a national unity government, and it was Abbas' Fatah Party that first agreed to it and then changed its mind a few days later. Zahar added that they are ready to establish a provisional Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and to call for a ceasefire.
Zahar was also asked about the comments of Deputy Prime Minister, Nasser al-Shaer, who thinks that an indirect recognition of Israel, as the Saudi-Arabian initiative of 2002 suggests, is possible. Zahar responded and said that he had expressed his personal opinion and not the position of the government.
As to the rumors of internal conflicts within Hamas, Zahar responded that “there are different opinions. But the big majority supports the resistance. The kidnapping of the Israeli soldier was the only way to release our brothers and sisters who are detained in Israel.”
Zahar also claims that the information that Iran has paid Hamas $50 million in order to torpedo the deal to release Gilad Shalit was “Zionist propaganda.” He concluded by calling on the family of the kidnapped soldier to “pressure their government to do everything possible to release their son.”
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