JERUSALEM – A new study asserts Hamas is engaging in a "spin" effort of phony rapprochement with Israel in order to continue engaging with the West, while its leaders are explaining in Arabic they are still seeking the Jewish state's destruction and denying any real accommodation with Israel.
"Hamas is conducting a 'smile spin' for the West, particularly the United States. Its main objectives are to ease its political isolation, improve its position vis-à-vis the Palestinian Authority and get funds to rebuild the Gaza Strip," concludes the study by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel's Center for Special Studies.
"For the Palestinians, [Hamas] stresses that its fundamental anti-Israeli pro-terrorism strategy remains unchanged."
The study quotes liberally from multiple recent Hamas interviews to U.S. and British news media outlets and compares those statements to Hamas rhetoric to the Palestinians during the same period.
Khaled Mashaal, the overall chief of Hamas, was interviewed in Damascus two weeks ago by the Wall Street Journal. During the interview, Meshaal told the newspaper his group is willing to agree to an immediate reciprocal cease-fire with Israel as well as a prisoner exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Meshaal claimed Hamas and other Palestinian organizations would be ready to cooperate with any American, international or regional effort to find a "just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict," end so-called Israeli occupation and allow the Palestinian people their "right to self-determination."
In a separate interview with the British Economist, Ahmed Yousef, Hamas' chief political adviser in Gaza, was quoted as stating, "Hamas is very close on recognition of Israel … We show all sorts of ideological flexibility on this." Read more here ...
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