In a dramatic political about-face, a senior Hamas official said that his movement may seek to negotiate with Israel, claiming that Islamic faith does not prohibit such contacts.
By Elhanan Miller—The Times of Israel
Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Palestinian Al-Quds TV on Wednesday that Hamas may be forced to negotiate with Israel, since the vast majority of Gaza Strip residents demand it.
“From the point of view of Sharia (Islamic law), nothing prevents negotiations with the occupation. Just as you negotiate with it using weapons, you can negotiate using words,” Abu Marzouk said. “I believe that if things continue as they are now, Hamas may not have a choice. I say this in all honesty, [negotiations] have become a quasi-popular demand at the moment among all people in the Gaza Strip. Hamas may find itself forced to adopt this policy.”
Abu Marzouk noticeably struggled to articulate his movement’s new position, a reversal of earlier stances which forbade direct contact with Jerusalem.