Saturday, November 15, 2008

2006 Hamas Overture

It doesn't represent a break with previously stated positions, but the OT-based Hamas leadership tried to negotiate with the Bush administration in 2006:
"Haaretz has obtained a written message from Haniyeh sent to Bush via an American professor who met with Haniyeh in the Gaza Strip. Haniyeh asked Bush to lift the boycott of the Hamas government and pressure Israel to maintain stability in the region.

"On June 6, 2006, Haniyeh met Dr. Jerome Segal of the University of Maryland in the Gaza Strip. Segal had been involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for many years and was one of the first Americans to meet Palestine Liberation Organization leaders in the late 1980s, even passing messages from senior PLO figures to then U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz. Segal's academic work brought him in contact with senior State Department and National Security Council officials throughout the Clinton administration. However, the relationship was severed during the Bush administration...

"In the second paragraph, Haniyeh laid out the political platform he maintains to this day. 'We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don't mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years,' he wrote."

This differs from the Quartet demands in that Haniyeh did not express a willingness to abide by existing agreements.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



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