Stop seeking compromise with Israel: Hamas leader
Damascus: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to stop seeking compromise with Israel but offered him an olive branch, saying Palestinians must end their divisions.
Sounding conciliatory after raising the political ante against Abbas following his call for national elections last month, Meshaal said the Islamist group Hamas "stretches its hand" to Abbas's Fatah faction to end divisions between the two sides undermining the Palestinian cause.
"Courage dictates that we, as leaders of the Palestinians, be frank with our people and evaluate what compromise has brought us, decide together to suspend or freeze the political settlement process and pursue our real national options," Meshaal told a rally in the Syrian capital.
He said compromise with Israel, starting with the 1993 Oslo Accords, had failed to stop Israeli settlement expansion and brought Palestinians no closer to establishing an independent state in the land Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East War.
Abbas suspended talks with Israel during the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December and U.S. efforts to re-start them have since failed. Hamas has opposed the talks and rejected Western demands to recognise Israel, renounce armed struggle and accept existing interim peace deals.
"Any leader who insists on the right of return for the Palestinian refugees and on restoring the land, even to the 1967 borders ... must know that the way to do this is not through negotiations or betting on the Americans but through holy struggle, resistance and national unity," Meshaal said.