“If we talk to Hamas, we will be encouraging terrorism”
§ Occupation, Injustice and Impunity cause resistance. Occupation is the root cause of the conflict. Justice for the Palestinian people is a pre-requisite to peace.
§ Hamas was elected with 74 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. The EU and the Quartet have boycotted Hamas. Israeli occupation arrested Hamas’s parliamentarians.
§ Although the UK government “does not talk to Hamas”, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have spoken to Hamas during visits to Gaza and the West Bank.
“Why won’t Hamas accept the three Quartet principles?”
§ Israelis claim to want talks without preconditions, but what are the Quartet principles if not preconditions?
§ Hamas has offered a “long-term truce” as part of an agreement, but why should they give up their bargaining chips before they start?
§ Hamas has been observing the existing ceasefire better than the Israeli occupation.
“Palestine must first recognise Israel …"
§ The PLO – representing all Palestinians – has already recognized so-called Israel since 1993. Israeli occupation has never reciprocated by recognizing Palestine even though over 148 countries now do.
§ Israeli occupation has now moved the goalposts by demanding to be recognized “as a Jewish state” without explaining what that means. Palestinians in 48 Palestine fear it would mean their removal by force.
§ Hamas has always said it accepts a state at 1967 borders as part of an agreement, but not without knowing the terms of that agreement.
§ Hamas started observing and policing its ceasefire with Israeli occupation from July 2008 and – outside the period of the Israeli assault of 2008-9, 2012 and 2014 and other isolated flare-ups – has largely maintained it.
§ Hamas leader Khaled Meshal has offered Israeli occupation a “long-term truce” and promised that, once Palestine is independent, “we would practice democracy peacefully.”
§ The second intifada ended seven years ago and the last bombing was over five years ago.
§ All Palestinians maintain that the UN charter gives them a “right to resist” occupation, and some of them now support a policy of non-violence.
§ Israeli occupation cross-border fire continues to kill and injure civilians in Gaza: since September 2014, 37 civilians were killed or injured, 49 fishermen were attacked and/or arrested and at least 12 fishing boats were destroyed and/or sabotaged.
§ In the West Bank, non-violent protests have been met with live ammunition, rubber bullets, high velocity tear gas canisters, tear gas and stun grenades.
“…. adhere to previous agreements’’:
§ Israeli occupation must also abide by existing agreements. But they frequently announce new settlements of thousands of homes, which reneges on principles agreed on even by most Israeli negotiators, including Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, known as the ‘‘Clinton Parameters.’’ (Foundation for Middle East Peace).