Hamas Makes Threats As Israel-Syria Talk

Israeli and Syrian leaders are discussing possible peace, but the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, made clear his organization’s refusal to compromise on certain key points and the need to end the Gaza blockade. “If the international community and the concerned parties don’t take the initiative and break the siege, we will break it ourselves. We insist on opening of crossings, particularly Rafah.” He also reiterated the goals of his group. “The Palestinians will not accept any agreement with Israel that would compromise the rights of Palestinians in Jeruslaem, the right of return or the Palestinian right to rule our own land.”

The Hamas leader openly stated his belief that Prime Minister Olmert’s personal problems of being charged with corruption have weakened his hand in any negotiation with Palestinians. It appears the Israel and Syrian negotiations have already encountred a road block due to insistence by Israel that any agreement be conditioned on an end by Syria of its relations with Hamas and Iran.

Any agreement must entail give and take on the part of both sides. Historically, the idea of compromise has never been a comfortable concept when Israel and Arab nations enter into negotiations.