Hamas official: No permanent peace

Hamas would view any future agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel not as a permanent peace treaty but rather as a truce, a senior Hamas official told the Forward.

Mousa Abu Marzook, Hamas’ second-highest official, said in an interview published online April 19 that even if a permanent peace agreement were negotiated by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas would not be obligated to recognize it as anything more than a hudna, an Arabic word for a temporary truce.

“We will not recognize Israel as a state,” said Abu Marzook, Hamas’ deputy director. “It will be like the relationship between Lebanon and Israel or Syria and Israel.”

Abu Marzook spoke with the Forward during two days of sit-down interviews in Cairo, where he now lives. According to the Forward, this was the first-ever interview between a top Hamas official and a Jewish publication.

Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was elected the head of the group’s political bureau, its most powerful institution in Gaza, in secret balloting held less than two weeks ago. He becomes the first recognized leader of Hamas in Gaza since 2004. — jta