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War between Israel and Hamas: Armed group willing to disarm if Palestinian state is created, Hamas officials say

War between Israel and Hamas: Armed group willing to disarm if Palestinian state is created, Hamas officials say

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Palestinian Hamas fighters during a military parade in the Bani Suhaila area on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza.



CNN

some Hamas officials They point out that the armed group may abandon the armed struggle against Israel if the Palestinians obtain an independent state in the territories they occupied. Israel In the 1967 war.

The messages indicate a softening of Hamas' position, as its fate is at stake Israel's bombing of the Gaza StripWhich was ruled by Hamas before the war. The Palestinian armed group has long called for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Basem Naim, a member of Hamas's political bureau based in Istanbul, told CNN on Thursday that the movement would agree to disarm if an independent Palestinian state was created.

He added, “If an independent state is established with Jerusalem as its capital, while preserving the right of return for refugees, it is possible to integrate the Al-Qassam Brigades into the (future) national army,” referring to the armed wing of the movement.

Hamas has traditionally rejected a two-state solution that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and has instead called for the creation of a Palestinian state on the entire territory of historic Palestine that today includes Israel, Israel. Occupied West BankOccupied East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Mustafa BarghouthiThe head of the Palestinian National Initiative said that he was not aware of Hamas' offer to lay down its weapons before, but he said that it would be an important step if true.

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“It is important in the sense that the Palestinians are resisting the occupation because there is an occupation,” he told CNN. “If the occupation did not exist, they would not need to resist it,” he said, referring to Israel’s military control over the lands it occupied in 1967, where millions of Palestinians live.

Ephraim Inbar, head of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said that demanding the return of Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes in what is today Israel would be a non-starter because it could amount to “the destruction of the State of Israel.” Where Jews constitute the majority.

He described Hamas' offer as a public relations stunt targeting Western countries.

He said: “They see that there is a lot of support in the Western world (for the Palestinians)… and they are trying to show that they are the good guys, and Israel is the bad guys, and Israel will say no.”

He said the United States and European countries might use this to demand that Israel “give them a chance,” but Israel would likely accept the gesture with a “grain of salt.”

Netanyahu's government vowed to eliminate Hamas after it led an attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping 250 others.

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said on Wednesday He told the Associated Press In Istanbul, the group announced its acceptance of “a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with international resolutions.”

Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in the 1967 war. These territories are considered under international law and most of the international community to be occupied territories, and are where the Palestinians want to establish their future state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long opposed such a possibility, arguing that it would jeopardize his country's security.

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Al-Hayya also told the AP that Hamas will join the Palestine Liberation Organization to form a unified government for Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas refrained from joining the Palestine Liberation Organization, an umbrella group that includes Palestinian factions with which it signed peace agreements in the 1990s.

Barghouti said that Hamas had indicated this since 2007 when it led a Palestinian movement National unity governmentIt is ready to accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. He added that Hamas also supports joining the Palestine Liberation Organization, but such a step would not automatically rise to the level of recognition of Israel or the Oslo Accords that the PLO signed with it in the 1990s.

Hamas did not issue an official statement specifying the concessions promoted by its officials, and it is not clear whether the statements made by its officials abroad reflect the thinking of its military wing on the ground in Gaza.

In response to a question about whether Al-Hayya’s statement to The Associated Press amounts to a shift in Hamas’ position, Naim told CNN that his statements reflect the movement’s messages since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has so far failed to achieve its stated goal Eliminate Hamas of the Gaza Strip, with neither the group's senior leaders captured nor killed, but it has significantly reduced its military capabilities and ability to govern there as its bombing campaign has decimated the enclave.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said, in a press conference in the Qatari capital, Doha, that Hamas is ready to act alone. As a political party Once a Palestinian state is established, citing meetings between the group and Turkish officials.

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He called on Hamas to “express its positions clearly.”

Inbar, of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said that after October 7, the Israelis treat Hamas as a hostile entity and want to see it defeated. “We understand that they will try to rebuild the military infrastructure” after Israel destroys it, he said, adding that Israel will continue to “mow the grass,” referring to occasional military operations to reduce Hamas’ military capacity.