(CNSNews.com) – As the Obama administration’s Mideast peace initiative crumbles, Hamas is calling on all Palestinian factions, including its Fatah rival, to resume an armed campaign aimed at seizing control over all of what it terms “historic Palestine.”
The leader of the Gaza-based terrorist group, Mahmoud Zahar made the call during an event in
“Israeli occupation will end,” the Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted him as saying. “It does not have any future among us. Our Palestinian principles are not up for negotiation by anyone.”
Zahar called on the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (P.A.), led by Mahmoud Abbas, to allow a resumption of “resistance” attacks against
Press photos of the event showed Zahar walking on and then setting fire to a banner depicting the Israeli flag together with a slogan in Arabic stating that
His call to arms came amid uncertainty over the future of the “direct talks” launched with great fanfare by the Obama administration in early September.
The process has foundered over a failure by the two sides to find a compromise on the issue of building work in Israeli settlements in the disputed territories.
After a 10-month Israeli freeze on construction expired in late September
Members of Netanyahu’s coalition insisted that the freeze exclude
Exactly how this will be achieved remains unsaid, but State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters that at some point “direct negotiations” would have to resume and the administration still believed a deal could be reached within the one-year timeframe it announced last September.
“We’re shifting our approach, but are still focused on the goal of a framework agreement within a year,” he said Wednesday. “We believe that’s still achievable.”
The P.A. says the shift is an admission of
P.A. chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said in
The “1967 borders” referred to are the armistice lines from the war that accompanied the founding of the modern Israeli state in 1948. The lines held from 1949 until the June 1967 Six Day War.
A state of “
“In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” Bush wrote at the time, adding that “all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”
“It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities,” Bush said.
Largely on the basis of those
Under fire over backing off on the settlement freeze issue, the Obama administration is stepping up its diplomatic efforts. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in
The administration will also send
It has advised against the P.A. seeking international support for statehood but a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers planned for next week is expected to tackle the issue.
Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa told reporters Abbas had asked for “a meeting to discuss future Arab action in light of the letter he received today from the American administration concerning its failure to convince Israel to freeze the settlements.”
The 22-nation bloc earlier warned that unless Obama succeeds in pressuring Netanyahu on the settlement freeze, it would consider alternative steps, such as the option of seeking recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.
“The time has come for the Arab states, through the Arab League that meets in the next couple of days to respond to the American announcement, to formally tell the
“It should also tell it that since it is not prepared to help find a just and workable solution, it has forfeited any right to hinder attempts by others to do so,” the paper added. “