Hamas leaders told former President Jimmy Carter they are prepared to accept the 1967 borders of Israel although they refuse at present to recognize the existence of the Israel nation. The statement by Khaled Mashaal in Damascus ammounted to a tacit acceptance of Israel’s righ to exist alongside a Palestinian state. Mashaal also said a future Palestinian state must have Jerusalem as its capital. “We agree to a (Palestinian) state on pre-67 borderes with jerusalem as its capital with genuine sovereignty without settlements but without recognizing Israel. Mashaal added: “We have offered a truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, a truce of 10 years as a proof of recognition.
The only response of the American State Department was from Tom Casey, a spokesperson, who said: “the bottom line is Hamas still believes in the destruction of the state of Israel. They don’t believe Israel has a right to exist.” Carter has been attacked by the Israel government, the Bush administration, and right wing supporters of Israel, but the real bottom line is that Carter has secured a statement from Hamas of a willingness to co-exist with Israel for ten years. One can assume if such co-existence succeeds for ten years, it may well endure into the future.