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memri
February 6, 2007 No.
322

Alongside Its Islamist Ideology, Hamas Presents Pragmatic Positions

Introduction

Under domestic pressure by the PLO and its leaders and external pressure by the U.S., Europe, and several Arab countries, Hamas leaders and spokesmen have been making efforts lately to present positions that are more pragmatic than their known religious-ideological principles. In addition, the Palestinian media has reported on the existence of a Hamas document which proposes a five-year hudna in return for an Israeli withdrawal to temporary borders, followed by the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders "towards a permanent peace agreement with Israel."

At the same time, Hamas leaders continue to publicly express their commitment to their established religious-ideological positions. Furthermore, some of the pragmatic statements recently made by Hamas - including the hudna document itself - have subsequently been denied by the organization.

Hamas's pragmatic statements and the hudna document, as well as the internal debate which they sparked, particularly between Hamas and Fatah, all underscore the political conflict between the two movements, and reflect Hamas's effort to extricate itself from its political and economic straits.

The following are excerpts from recent Hamas statements and from the hudna document:

Khaled Mash'al: "The State of Israel is a Fact and a Reality"

In an interview with Reuters, Hamas Political Bureau Head Khaled Mash'al said: "The State of Israel is a fact and a reality. Hamas will deal with the challenge of the West's [demand] to recognize Israel when there is response to the demand to establish a Palestinian state...

"Hamas's position, the national Palestinian position, and the Arab position are united [regarding] the need to establish a Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders, [and regarding] Jerusalem [as the capital of the Palestinian state], the refugees' right of return, and an Israeli withdrawal to the [June 4, 1967] borders. Hamas believes in this and is working to promote this [goal] at every opportunity. The problem is not a Palestinian or an Arab one; the ball is now in the court of Israel and America. The international community should seize this opportunity. Is there international willingness to force Israel to respect this right? This would lead to peace and stability in the region. The establishment of a temporary state will not solve the problem, but will only be an attempt to bypass the Palestinian rights. This is a waste of time...

"The existence of an entity called Israel is not the problem. The problem is that there is no state of Palestine, and that the fact on the ground is that Israel is [occupying] the Palestinian territories. The problem is that there is no Palestinian state, and as a Palestinian, I want a state...

"As Hamas and as Palestinians, we do not speak of recognizing [Israel] or of accepting Israel as a reality. As a Palestinian, I speak today of the Palestinian and Arab demand for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. True, the meaning of this reality is that there is an entity, or state, called Israel on the rest of the Palestinian lands. This is a fact, and I do not refer to it in terms of recognition but as a fact that came about in [certain] historical circumstances. Today, we speak of Palestinian-Arab willingness to accept a state within the 1967 borders on the assumption that this will ensure a certain degree of stability. The question is whether there is Israeli, American and international willingness to recognize this Palestinian demand. To date, Israel does not recognize the Palestinian rights. I am not interested in the existence of Israel or in recognizing [Israel]. This is not my problem. I am the victim, and I want to end the Palestinian suffering and the Israeli occupation, and to have a state like all other peoples." [1]

Hamas Information Bureau: Reuters Distorted Mash'al's Statement

After the Reuters interview was published, the Hamas Information Bureau issued a statement in which it claimed that Reuters had "distorted and changed the content of [Mash'al's] statements in the introduction to the interview with [him]. For example, the introduction includes the following sentence: 'Khaled Mash'al... said that Israel is a fact, but that Hamas would [only] consider official recognition of Israel after a Palestinian state is established.' As a matter of fact, [We wish] to clarify that Khaled Mash'al did not utter the phrase 'official recognition of Israel by Hamas after the establishment of a Palestinian state' - neither explicitly nor implicitly. [This phrase] is far removed from the truth which Mash'al reiterated repeatedly in the interview, saying: 'I do not refer to this fact in terms of recognizing [Israel].'" [2]

PM Haniya: We Have No Problem with the Saudi Peace Initiative

In an interview for the Saudi daily 'Ukaz, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said that the Palestinians have no disagreement with the Arabs regarding the Saudi peace initiative of 2002 (which is generally perceived as including recognition of Israel), and that it is Israel who is against this initiative: "We have already said in the media and in various channels of direct [communication] that the problem with the Arab initiative [of 2002], which was proposed by Saudi Arabia and approved [at the Arab summit] in Beirut, has to do with the Zionist enemy. Before the ink was dry on the Arab summit's decision, [Ariel] Sharon decided to invade the entire West Bank and to lay siege to Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. The problem is that the Zionist enemy does not want to deal with Arab initiatives and does not believe in the rationale of peace...

"The [Saudi] Arab initiative set as a national goal the establishment of a Palestinian state within the '67 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital. That is our goal too, and we will head in that direction. We have reservations about recognition of Israel, but I say once again that if Israel declares that it accepts the Arab initiative, we will talk with our [Arab] brothers and there will be no problem between us." [3]

In an interview with the daily Al-Quds, Haniya said: "If Israel recognizes the [Saudi] peace initiative, we will reach a formula of mutual understanding with the Arabs." [4]

Searching for a Way to Comply with the PLO and Western Demand Regarding Prior Agreements with Israel

Following a January 21, 2007 meeting between Khaled Mash'al and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Damascus, in which the two agreed to continue the dialogue on the establishment of a national unity government, Haniya's political advisor Ahmad Yousef expressed optimism regarding the possibility of reaching a Hamas-Fatah understanding. Yousef said that "the [Palestinian] government was consulting with legal experts in order [to find] a suitable alternative to the term 'commitment' [in the phrase 'commitment to signed agreements,' proposed by Abbas], which would [be compatible with] national principles and with Hamas's positions. [5] On another occasion, Yousef clarified that the goal of the national dialogue is to settle the disagreement between Fatah, which endorses the phrasing "commitment to signed agreements with Israel" and Hamas, which is suggesting an alternative phrasing: "honoring signed agreements with Israel." [6]

The Hudna Document

[7]

On December 24, 2006, the Palestinian media published the full text of Hamas's hudna document, which proposes an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank to temporary borders in return for a five-year hudna that will allow the two sides to build mutual trust. The document further proposes - under the heading "Rationale," not as part of the operative articles - that after the five-year period, the Palestinians will establish a state in all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, and will remain committed to the right of return. Israel and Palestine will maintain normal economic ties and establish joint commercial zones and economic projects, and all political prisoners will be released.

Hamas Denies the Hudna Document

After the publication of the document, Hamas spokesmen stated that they had not known about it, and that it reflected a European initiative that has not yet been discussed by Hamas. President Abbas, on his part, declared his opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state in temporary borders. Other Fatah members harshly criticized the concessions proposed in the hudna document, and some characterized the proposal as being worse than the Oslo Accords. Haniya's political advisor Ahmad Yousef was mentioned as one of the Hamas members responsible for drafting the document, along with European representatives, including Alistair Crooke, but Hamas denied any knowledge of this. [8]

Ahmad Yousef, Advisor to Palestinian Prime Minister Haniya: "A Hudna Differs from a Tahdia, Which Has a Fixed Time Framework"

At a press conference, Ahmad Yousef explained that the initiative attributed to him in the Palestinian press was, in fact, a European proposal that had been presented to Hamas but had not been discussed by the movement's institutions: "Since Hamas came into power, it has [constantly] been willing to talk with the international community, and there have been several meetings at various levels with Europeans, in order to propose a hudna and [present Hamas's] positions... The hudna is an old-new proposal which was already presented as a political position by Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin in 1988. It was [later reiterated] by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, by Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash'al and by other Hamas figures and bodies. A hudna does not in any way constitute recognition of Israel; it is a political proposal [presented] in return for termination of the occupation in the 1967 territories, release of all the prisoners, and securing of the right of return. The hudna will come into effect after the withdrawal of the occupation. As a political term, a hudna differs from a tahdia, which has a fixed time framework.

"Upon receiving the European ideas, Prime Minister Haniya immediately relayed them to President Abu Mazen, during their last meeting, and presented them as European proposals that should be examined and commented upon. On his last trip [abroad], Haniya [also] presented them to several Arab leaders. We have been presenting the hudna to the whole world as a political position and program, as the [proposal] of Hamas and its government for achieving stability, security and prosperity in the region...

"There were those who had the gall to accuse Hamas and its government of having no political position or proposal, [but] today it seems that the West - and especially European countries - have begun to understand the political ideas and proposals of Hamas and its government, which can be referred to and relied upon in any future diplomatic initiative in the region. We caution about the attempts to accuse these contacts [with the Europeans] of being similar to what was achieved in Olso. The Oslo [Accords] were based on mutual recognition, on exchange of territories, and on a handful of security arrangements that limited the activity of the resistance, while our proposal completely rejects [the concept of] recognizing Israel, [which is] an occupying state, and maintains the right of our people to [continue the] resistance until the occupation withdraws." [9]

The PLO and Fatah were unconvinced by Hamas's denials. Hani Al-Masri, a senior official in the Palestinian Information Ministry and columnist for the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, wrote: "I hesitated before writing about what is referred to as 'the Hamas Geneva Document,' since I thought it might be a fabrication of the Israeli media intended to fan the flames of the [internal] Palestinian conflicts. But after the press conference held by the Prime Minister's advisor Ahmad Yousef, who allegedly drafted the document, I tend to believe that the reports about this document are accurate..." [10]

Al-Ayyam columnist Ashraf Al-'Ajrami wrote: "Hamas cannot renounce the [hudna] document... European personalities transmitted it to the Israeli and Palestinian figures, presenting it as a Hamas achievement." [11]

Reactions by Fatah Members and Columnists in PA Dailies to Hamas's Hudna Document

The Document Reflects a Shift in Hamas Positions

Senior Fatah official Hassan 'Asfur, who participated in PLO-Israel talks, wrote: "[Adopting] the path of negotiation, as Dr. Ahmad Yousef has done, is a significant political turning point for Hamas. It is one in a series of steps in the political shift that Hamas has been making since it decided to participate in the elections and since it expressed its agreement to a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders." [12]

Fatah Officials: The Document Proposes Far-Reaching Concessions

Senior Fatah officials claimed that the hudna document proposes significant concessions and declared that they would oppose it. Al-Aqsa Brigades spokesman Abu Al-Walid said: "The document contravenes [our] national principles since it revokes the right of return and agrees to temporary borders. This would give Israel every opportunity to reinforce its settlements, and to rob Palestinian land and divide it up into cantons... The Al-Aqsa Brigades will fight this document by all [possible] means." [13]

The Jerusalem Committee of Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Office accused Hamas of selling out the Palestinians' national principles - including Jerusalem, the right of return and the release of the prisoners - all "in order to keep their seats [in the government] and in the ministries at the expense of the martyrs' blood, the [pain of] the injured, the suffering of the prisoners and the struggle of the people..." [14]

Fatah members and columnists in PA compared the hudna document to the Oslo Accords and to the Geneva Initiative, and spoke out against accepting a temporary solution that corresponds with Israel's plans.

Former PA minister Ahmad Majdalani, who is Abu Mazen's media advisor, wrote: "The document reveals how sincere [Hamas] was when it [brandished] slogans like 'hunger before surrender' and 'no to surrender and recognition'... The hudna proposed in the document takes us back to the starting point of the Oslo Accords: an interim solution [like the one that] expired in May 1999. In the present circumstances, we cannot tolerate another interim solution but must resolve the question of the final settlement. The hudna proposed in the document grants Israel a ceasefire for nothing, [and offers] an end to the resistance before any solution is realized on the ground. This is in complete contradiction to the positions of Hamas and its government [and their insistence] on combining [their status] as a governing authority with [continued] resistance. A five-year hudna, during which Israel will withdraw to agreed-upon temporary borders in the West Bank, [is precisely what was proposed in] the plan called 'long-term interim settlement' or 'state in temporary borders,' endorsed by Israel and America... This state with temporary borders does not include Jerusalem. The [hudna] document demands only free passage to and from Jerusalem, and does away with the guarantees [included] in the Oslo Accords regarding the protection of the places and sites holy to the Muslims and Christians." [15]

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida columnist Omar Hilmi Al-Ghul, stated that "the new Geneva document [presents] a new kind of recognition of Israel and, in essence, is no different from previous agreements." [16]

Al-Ayyam columnist Hani Habib wrote: "The hudna document does not ignore the right of return - it states that this right must be preserved... [However], the term 'preserved' is meaningless unless we set out the details and define the manner in which this right will be preserved: who has the authority, who will [be allowed to] return and where they will be allowed to return to. The document speaks of an Israeli withdrawal to an agreed-upon border in the West Bank. This is very similar to the phrasing used by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in his 'Convergence Plan'..." [17]

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida editor Hafez Al-Barghuti characterized the hudna document as worse than the Oslo Accords: "Ever since the [signing] of the Oslo Accords and until the elections, Hamas made every effort to sabotage the implementation of the Oslo Accords. [Now] that it has come into power, it [suddenly] offers a proposal that is even worse than Oslo, as though its motivation in resistance is not to defeat the occupation but to defeat Fatah and the Oslo Accords. The document should be rejected because it offers [concessions] for no reward, and since it is compatible with Sharon's unilateral plan of establishing a [Palestinian] state with temporary borders. The Palestinian negotiators rejected Sharon's plan and Olmert's [plan] that came after it, as well as the [concept of] a state within temporary borders proposed in the Road Map." [18]

Columnist Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote: "This document is much worse than the Road Map, which speaks of a final settlement based on Bush's vision of a two-state solution and on the Arab [Saudi] peace initiative. The Hamas document cannot be compared to the Geneva document, since the latter speaks of an Israeli withdrawal from the West bank and Gaza with a 2.5% territories exchange, of Palestinian rule in the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and in the [Jerusalem] Old City, except for the Jewish Quarter, and of Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. The [Geneva] document also speaks of resolving the refugee problem based on [U.N.] Resolution 194, proposing five options that the refugees will be able to choose from without pressure or coercion..." [19]

Hani Al-Masri: "What Incentive Does Israel Have to Accept [the Hudna Document], When It Means that the Future Palestinian State Will Destroy the State of Israel Once It Becomes Fully Independent?"

Hani Al-Masri wrote: "The idea of a hudna in return for a state will only be realized when Palestinian tanks reach the outskirts of Tel Aviv and when Palestinian rockets threaten Jerusalem and all of Israel. What incentive does Israel have to accept [the hudna document], when it means that the future Palestinian state will destroy the state of Israel once it becomes fully independent? Therefore, I am afraid that the 'hudna in return for a state' proposal is unrealistic, and will [only] lead to a hudna [in return for] negotiations about a state. It will lead us to a temporary state... and the negotiations about the final settlement will be postponed until the end of time. We have [already] tasted the bitterness of the Oslo Accords and of the [other] interim settlements, and we do not want to replicate the [old] Fatah agreement [in the guise of] a Hamas [proposal]." [20]

Like Arafat, Hamas Has Also Failed to Combine [Its Role] as a Governing Authority with Continued Armed Resistance

Hani Al-Masri added: "Hamas says that its participation in the PA and its willingness to form a government on its own were intended to preserve the option of resistance - but as a matter of fact, Hamas suspended its resistance [activities] even before the elections when it accepted the tahdia in March 2005 and then agreed to extend it in November 2006. This position was [the result of] a natural development, whether planned or not. [Hamas understood that] it is impossible to reconcile [its role] as a governing [authority] - the existence and legitimacy of which are based on the Oslo Accords and on PLO commitments to Israel, and especially on the commitment to stop the resistance and embrace dialogue as the only way to resolve the conflict - with [the principle of] armed resistance, especially [resistance] by means of martyrdom operations inside Israel. Otherwise, why has Hamas refrained from renewing its martyrdom operations, despite the fact that over 800 [Palestinians] have been killed [by Israel] since the disengagement from Gaza, and even though over 500 have been killed since Hamas's delusional operation of kidnapping [the Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit?...

"After the failure of the Camp David [talks], President Yasser Arafat tried, as a tactic, to combine... negotiations with armed resistance - and failed. After winning the elections, Hamas tried to do the same thing and [likewise] failed." [21]

The Hudna Document is a Hamas Attempt to Establish Its Presence and Gain Recognition

Yousef Al-Qazzaz, a senior Palestinian Broadcasting Authority official and columnist for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote: "The document is not intended to provide a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian problem - it is an attempt [by Hamas] to establish its presence by claiming to maintain contacts with the Europeans, even if [this attempt] is at odds with the [Palestinians'] national goals." [22]

Ashraf Al-'Ajrami argued, in a similar vein: "[In] this document, [Hamas] presents a new approach to a political settlement... [In adopting] this approach, [Hamas] does not seek to attain the goal of [establishing] an independent Palestinian state and resolving the refugee problem - it [merely] seeks to exploit the current situation and to strengthen Hamas' rule by presenting itself to Israel and to the international forces as [even] more moderate than the old Palestinian leadership. This analysis is confirmed by the article specifying the document's immediate goals, [which are] "to end the armed conflict, including the Israelis' and Palestinians' mutual attacks on each other, and to end the economic, political and international isolation [of the Palestinians]..." [23]

The Document is a Hamas Attempt to Ensure the Rule of the Fundamentalists

Former Palestinian minister Ahmad Majdalani wrote: "The main objective of Hamas is to ensure the rule of the Islamist fundamentalists in Palestine at any cost, regardless of [Palestine's] specific borders, since ensuring the rule [of Hamas] - which is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood - will pave the way to further successes [for the fundamentalists] in the Arab and Muslim world." [24]

The Hudna Document Challenges the PLO's Exclusive Authority to Conduct Negotiations

Fatah Spokesman in the West Bank Dr. Jamal Nazzal said that the Hamas document violates [the principle] set out in the Prisoners' Accord, namely that conducting negotiations is the prerogative of the PLO and of the head of the PA. [25]

Former Palestinian minister Nabil 'Amr said that Abu Mazen and his aides did not know of the Hamas document, and added that, "in principle, no [Palestinian] official should... [propose] significant concessions regarding [our] political position on issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Hudna Document Proves that the Conflict Between Hamas and Fatah is Over Power and not Over Political Issues

Al-Ayyam columnist 'Abdullah 'Awad wrote: "The [Hamas] document revealed that the conflict between Fatah and Hamas, as well as between the Hamas government and the Fatah presidency, is not related to negotiations with the Hebrew state or to the political solution. The main gist of the document (the hudna and the interim solution) is a step back in the Palestinian position, which opposes the replication of the (temporary) Oslo Accords. This is the essence of Dr. Ahmad Yousef's document. If there is agreement [on the part of Hamas] to negotiations and to dialogue with the Hebrew state, and if there is agreement about the basis of the dialogue, the question that arises is: What was the reason for the internal conflicts which reached the point of armed clashes and led to casualties and wounded? The answer is: [it was all] about seats..." [26]

Appendix: Hamas's Hudna Document

"Proposal for Creating Suitable Conditions for Ending the Conflict

1. An Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank to agreed-upon temporary borders.

2. A five-year hudna, during which there will be no Palestinian attacks within Israel or on Israelis anywhere. There will be no Israeli attacks in the Palestinian territories or on Palestinians anywhere.

3. Israel will refrain from taking any steps that might change the situation in the territories that were not under Israeli rule in July 4, 1967. No new buildings will be put up in the settlements, no new roads will be built there and no changes will be made in open areas.

4. The Palestinians will be able to move freely inside the West Bank territories and to enter East Jerusalem freely.

5. [The Palestinians] will be able to travel freely between the West Bank and Gaza and to travel freely to Egypt and Jordan.

6. International supervision: Any violation of articles 1-5 will constitute a violation of the hudna."

"Rationale

The hudna will be a period of building goodwill between the Israelis and Palestinians, [which will allow] progress to be made in practical and serious measures towards establishing two viable states, side by side, that will be able to exist in the future. The hudna, which will last five years, will be a significant preparatory stage towards a permanent peace agreement with Israel. This hudna will give both peoples - the Israelis and the Palestinians - an opportunity to build mutual trust and to outline future prospects. If [the hudna] is successful, the Muslim world will grant the Palestinian government greater leeway and freedom to search for ways of permanently resolving the conflict with Israel.

"The Palestinian vision for the period after the hudna is the establishment of a Palestinian state in all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and preservation of the principle of the right of return."

"The Immediate Goal:

To end the armed conflict, including the Israelis' and Palestinians' mutual attacks on one another, and to end the international economic and political isolation of the Palestinian government, which will help the Palestinian people to develop their economy and attain prosperity."

"The Palestinians Will Undertake:

  1. To honor the hudna, which
    1. Will be five years in duration
    2. Will be respected by all the Palestinian factions
    3. Will apply to all of Israel and to the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967

2. To cease all armed operations within Israel and all hostilities towards Israelis anywhere.

3. To facilitate the establishment of joint Israeli-Palestinian [commercial] zones and economic initiatives (industrial, agricultural, etc.) [involving] Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.

4. To maintain normal commercial relations with Israel

5. To allocate all international funds to government activities and initiatives and not to the Hamas movement. To this end, the [Palestinian] government will establish an independent economic council of Palestinian academics and professionals which will work directly with the international community and will submit reports to its [representatives]. This council will oversee the governments' use of funds and will ensure compliance with the guidelines of the [international] community.

6. To submit transparent reports regarding the expenditure of funds from Arab and Muslim sources, which should be transferred directly to the [Palestinian] Ministry of Finance.

7. To provide all required security guarantees (similar to those provided at the Rafah border crossing) in return for freedom of passage [between the Palestinian territories] and the rest of the world, and free international trade.

8. To strictly observe international standards of democracy, rule of law and proper government.

9. To strictly observe the international law and the Geneva Conventions."

"Israel Will Undertake:

1. To honor the hudna, which

a. Will be five years in duration

b. Will be respected by all the Israeli security forces

c. Will apply to all of Israel and to the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.

2. To cease all types of military activity within the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and [all] actions of (deliberate) killing of Palestinians anywhere in world, as well as to remove all checkpoints in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.

3. To suspend all Israeli construction activities (settlements, roads, schools, etc.) outside the area ruled by Israel in June 4, 1967, including the fence.

4. To release all political prisoners.

5. To ensure free passage and trade between Gaza and the West Bank, as well as between the occupied Palestinian territories and the Arab world.

6. To permit the renewal of the construction of the international port in Gaza (in accordance with previous agreements) and of the airport in the West Bank (in Qalandia).

7. To permit residents of the West Bank and Gaza to enter East Jerusalem freely; and to permit Palestinians with Jerusalem I.D. cards to enter the West Bank and Gaza, thus preserving their identity and allowing them free participation in the Palestinian political arena.

8. To establish joint Israeli-Palestinian [commercial] zones and economic initiatives (industrial and agricultural) [involving] Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and to permit Palestinian laborers to work in Israel.

9. To strictly observe international law and the Geneva Conventions."

"The Role of the International Community

The international community will work to maintain the hudna and will contribute to the building of trust between the two sides. The international community will also play a role in preventing non-compliance with previous agreements. To this end, a multinational force will be established, headed by the Quartet and by Turkey, whose mission will be to ensure that both sides respect the terms of the hudna, as well as to provide security guarantees. The multinational force will assist in and ensure the implementation of the agreement and the resolving of conflicts related to it, and will impose punitive measures should the agreement be violated. Periodic reports will be submitted to the Security Council, indicating [the extent] to which each side is honoring the hudna." [27]

*Y. Carmon is the President of MEMRI and C. Jacob is a Research Fellow for MEMRI.


[1] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), January 11, 2007; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London) January 11, 2007. In the headline of its report, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat also quoted Mash'al as saying "there will always be a state called Israel," though this statement is not found in the report itself.

[2] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), January 15, 2007.

[3] 'Ukaz (Saudi Arabia), January 5, 2007.

[4] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), January 24, 2007.

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), January 25, 2007.

[6] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 25, 2007.

[7] For a full translation of the document as published in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, see the Appendix.

[8] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 24, 2006.

[9] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 25, 2006.

[10] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 26, 2006.

[11] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 25, 2006.

[12] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 24, 2006.

[13] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 26, 2006.

[14] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), December 25, 2006.

[15] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 27, 2006.

[16] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 24, 2006.

[17] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 24, 2006.

[18] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 24, 2006.

[19] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 25, 2006.

[20] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 26, 2006.

[21] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 26, 2006.

[22] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 26, 2006.

[23] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 25, 2006.

[24] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 27, 2006.

[25] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 25, 2006.

[26] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 28, 2006.

[27] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), December 24, 2006.