JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas will accept a Palestinian state on 1967 borders but will not recognize Israel, a senior Hamas leader said.
Recognizing Israel would "cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands," Mahmoud Zahar told the Ma’an Palestinian news service on Wednesday.
Zahar’s remarks, however, were a departure from the Islamist group’s previous demands that a Palestinian state must only be established "from the river to the sea," referring to the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — area that includes all of Israel.
He also said that recognizing Israel would jeopardize the Palestinian right of return to areas in Israel.
"What will be the fate of the 5 million Palestinians in the diaspora?" Zahar told Ma’an.
Zahar said that his organization, as part of its unity deal with Fatah, would maintain a truce with Israel, but he said that a "truce is not peace."