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Jun 23, 2011
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Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar Stresses that Hamas Is Not Following in the Footsteps of Fatah: We Do Not Recognize Israel and Do Not Give Up the Rest of Palestine

#3002 | 02:11
Source: Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on June 23, 2011:

Interviewer: Your positions are not that different, and this is acknowledged by Fatah. You are in favor of a state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital. What is the difference between you and Fatah?

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Look, this game needs to be made clear. Fatah wants to show that Hamas is following the path of Fatah. The difference between us is that we will not give up a single inch. We say that we should establish a state on any piece of the land, but without relinquishing a single inch. That's it, in a nutshell. That's the difference between us and them. They want to establish a state within the 1967 borders, with certain land swaps, and to forget about 78% of the Palestinian land of the past. We say that we should establish a state on any piece of the land – not necessarily [the entire] 1967 territories, but any inch of land – but without giving up a single inch of the land.

That is the different between us and them, and it is a matter of principle – a historical, ideological, and political dispute, which pertains to our strategy for the future. The difference is clear. You cannot say that our platform… We say that we accept the 1967 borders, but without recognizing Israel, and without giving up our right to the rest of Palestine.

Interviewer: Is this merely a theoretical viewpoint confined to the Palestine [political] scene, or have you managed to explain this to the Western world?

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: I think it is wise to stress this issue, because it is misunderstood. We say that we will establish a state on any inch of land that is liberated, but without relinquishing a single inch of Palestine. This is how we should put it. But when we start talking about readiness to accept 1967 or 1948… This makes you seem like a carbon copy of Fatah. We are not a carbon copy of Fatah. I take full responsibility for saying this. We will never relinquish a single inch of the Palestinian land, which has been and remains Palestinian – the 1948 [borders].


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