/ 21 April 2008

Leader says Hamas ‘won’t recognise Israel’

Hamas is ready to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders but ”it will not recognise Israel”, the Islamist movement’s exiled chief Khaled Meshaal told a news conference on Monday.

”We accept a Palestinian state within the June 4 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital — a sovereign state without settlements — as well as the right of Palestinian refugees to return, but without recognition of Israel,” he said.

Meshaal was making his first public comment following two meetings in Damascus with former United States president Jimmy Carter, who said earlier on Monday Hamas told him it would accept the right of Israel ”to live as a neighbour” if a peace deal was approved by a Palestinian referendum. — AFP