RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan Sunday warned joining ranks with the Palestinian Authority does not mean Hamas will change its policy toward Israel.
"Anyone who thinks Hamas has changed its positions and now accepts the Palestinian Liberation Organization's defeatist political program is living in an illusion," The Jerusalem Post quoted Hamdan telling the Quds Press agency in a weekend interview.
"Hamas cannot make the mistake of joining a process that has proved to be a failed one over the past 20 years," he said.
Hamdan was responding to a decision by the movement along with the Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups that agreed Thursday to join a PLO provisional leadership, the newspaper said.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are demanding the PLO denounce the Oslo Accords and the two-state solution pledged by the Palestinian Authority and Israel in a bid for peace.
The Oslo Accords signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in September 1993 was a framework established to resolve issues between the sides, leading to a final peace agreement.
Khalil Abu Leila, another Hamas official, told The Post that Hamas will join the PLO only if it agrees to change its political agenda. The idea of joining a provisional PLO leadership can only take place if it agrees to liberate Palestine, he said.