Mediator: Hamas open to deal with Israel

May 1, 2011 at 1:08 PM
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JERUSALEM, May 1 (UPI) -- A key figure in the Middle East peace process said Sunday Hamas is more open to cutting a deal with Israel.

Palestinian businessman Munib al-Masri told Israel's Ynetnews a driving reason behind the current reconciliation between Hamas and rival Fatah is to set the stage for a long-sought peace deal based on the 1967 borders between Palestine and Israel.

"They said that they want to establish a strong government that can achieve a comprehensive peace based on 1967 border," said al-Masri, who is mediating the Hamas-Fatah discussions and has been named as a candidate to head an interim government.

Ynetnews said Sunday the potential agreement would be a permanent solution rather than a long-term ceasefire.

The seeming breakthrough comes as the Israeli opposition has been prodding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to come up with a solid strategy for solving the Palestinian issue.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni told Ynetnews Sunday Netanyahu's lack of a clear policy was allowing Hamas to gain global legitimacy and discouraging "any future development."

"Israel has to present a policy that the world will believe in," Living added. "You can't simply keep saying the world is against us."

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