Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Der Spiegel has an interview with Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya thats worth reading. Some excerpts:
Haniya: ....Israel is against dividing Jerusalem, against the return of the refugees and against a withdrawal to the 1967 borders.

SPIEGEL: If Israel were to withdraw to the 1967 borders and leave East Jerusalem, including the Islamic holy sites, to the Palestinians, would you then be willing to recognize Israel?

Haniya: If Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says tomorrow that Israel will fulfill these conditions, we will provide something in return.

SPIEGEL: What would that be?

Haniya: A long-term Hudna, or cease-fire, for the next 50 years.

SPIEGEL: But why only that? Why can't you go a step further and say: If the Israelis fulfill these conditions, we will be willing to recognize the State of Israel?

Haniya: These are hypothetical questions...
SPIEGEL: If all Palestinian organizations are abiding by the cease-fire, how do you explain the April 17 attack on Tel Aviv's bus terminal? And why did Hamas seek to justify this attack by calling it "resistance."

Haniya: We are a people who have never attacked others. We are not the aggressor. We want peace and stability in this region. The Israelis are the problem. The must put an end to the targeted killings and daily bombing of the Gaza Strip.

SPIEGEL: Does that mean your government is doing everything it can to prevent attacks?

Haniya: We want peace and stability in this region. I call upon Israel to establish the conditions that will enable my government to achieve a long-term cease-fire.

SPIEGEL: We were talking about your responsibility, not about Israel. If you had information about a suicide bomber and had the power to stop him, would you prevent him from carrying out his plans?

Haniya: We don't control the West Bank. The Israeli military is in charge there. Our security forces have their hands tied. As long as the occupiers remain on our soil, resistance is the legitimate right of our people.
Haniya: Now I have a question. In addition to being prime minister, I am also the Minister of Youth and Sports. I used to play football myself. What do I have to do to receive an invitation from (German) Chancellor Angela Merkel to attend the World Cup games?

SPIEGEL: For that to happen, you would also have to recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence.

Haniya: Then I'd rather watch the World Cup on television.


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