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Hamas official says Israeli compromise close

A Hamas official said the Palestinian government is close to accepting a compromise on a document that would implicitly recognize Israel.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Hamas is drawing close to a compromise on a document that would implicitly recognize Israel, a senior official of the Hamas-led Palestinian government said Tuesday.

The West demands Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previous peace accords. Hamas has refused, as a result, the West has cut off much-needed aid to the Palestinian government.

But participants in talks between Hamas and the rival Fatah group said Tuesday the sides were not far apart on the issue of calling for a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — meaning a recognition of Israel next to it — and limiting resistance only to Israeli occupation of the West Bank instead of attacks inside Israel.

Such agreement would represent significant changes in the Hamas Islamic ideology. Hamas does not accept a Jewish state in the Middle East and has sent dozens of suicide bombers into Israel, killing hundreds. However, it was unlikely to satisfy either the West or Israel.

“I think in a couple of days we will reach a compromise, because we think that the differences are not significant,” said government spokesman Ghazi Hamad.