Some in Hamas blinking on Israel's existence



Israel's refusal to engage Hamas is based on the fact that Hamas refuses to recognize its right to exist. However, the three Hamas leaders interviewed said they would accept statehood in just the West Bank and Gaza and would give up their "resistance" against Israel if that were achieved.

"We accept a state in the '67 borders," said Hamad. "We are not talking about the destruction of Israel."

One hardline Hamas politician, Yehiel El Abadsa, said his group should not reconcile with Fatah and that Hamas "will be the ones to rebuild Gaza."

That position may well put him at odds with the majority of Gaza's 1.4 million inhabitants, who seem to be clamoring for an end to the divisions that are distancing their dreams for a state of their own.

"Even if money falls from the sky and we are still divided like this, we'll never accomplish anything," said 55-year-old Mohammed Abed Rabbo, sitting outside his bombed-out house in northern Gaza.

There are still many who want to destroy Israel more than they want to live in a Palestinian state. This is especially true of the ones who have taken sanctuary in Syria where they do not have to worry about Israeli bombs.


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