Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, defiantly told the world the only road open to the people of Palestine was “resistance.” He claimed some Europeans offered to facilitate unofficial meetings with Israel and he responded with “one thousand nos.” On the other hand, he did speak in a conciliatory way toward rival Fatah led by President Abbas and offered to hold unconditional discussions with the Palestinian Authority. “We are ready for a dialogue without conditions. Our hands are extended and all matters should be put on the table including elections.” He also insisted no Israel soldier in their hands would be returned without receiving in return the release of several key Palestinian leaders.
Perhaps Mahsaal doesn’t grasp the contradiction inherent in his remarks. On one hand, he rejects discussions with Israel and a cease fire, but on the other hand, he is willing to negotiate with Abbas who wants peace with Israel and a cease fire. Both goals are incompatible with one another. A mistake was made in failing to include Hamas at the Annapolis Conference. Mashaal has to be in a room with other Arab nations who are tired of the war between Israel and Palestine and seek peace. They will control him, not Israel.