Hamas would honor peace treaty with Israel, leader says


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas will honor a peace treaty with Israel if the results of a Palestinian referendum approve the deal, said the group’s leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

Haniyeh said during a rare news conference Wednesday in the Gaza Strip that Hamas would "accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the resolution of the issue of refugees," Reuters reported.

The admission runs counter to the Hamas charter, which states that all of the land of Palestine, including what is now Israel, is a Muslim birthright and should not be ceded to Israel. The charter also calls for the destruction of Israel.

"Hamas will respect the results (of a referendum) regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles," Haniyeh said, adding that the referendum must include all Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

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