Hamas Open for Negotiations with Israel

The Palestinian resistance group Hamas, expected to make major inroads in the Palestinian parliament in the January 25 polls, is open for negotiations with Israel.

“We’ll negotiate (with Israel) better than the others, who negotiated for 10 years and achieved nothing,” Sheikh Mohammed Abu Tir, the number two on Hamas’s slate for legislative elections, told Israel’s Haaretz daily on Sunday, January 15.

“The question of negotiations will be presented to the new parliament and, as with every issue, when we reach the parliament it will be discussed and decided in a rational manner.”

The ruling Fatah party has been engaged in on-off talks with Israel since the run-up to the 1993 Oslo accord.

Abu Tir was one of three Hamas candidates and six activists detained Sunday by Israeli occupation forces for electioneering in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).

Israel finally approved on Sunday allowing Palestinians in Al-Quds to vote in the legislative elections, but banned Hamas from listing its candidates on ballots in the holy city.

In a rare interview with Israeli radio on said Wednesday, November 9, Hamas leader Mahmmoud Al-Zahar said the resistance group was prepared to consider talks with Israel after the elections.

Hamas, which enjoys a soaring popularity among Palestinians, is putting up candidates for parliament for the first time and is expected to win big.