CAIRO, Egypt - Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said Thursday that fugitives in his Palestinian group would not sign pledges to halt attacks because that would negate the legitimacy of their right to fight the Israeli occupation.
Hamas and other factions say they will stop if Israel halts targeted killings of Palestinian leaders and attacks on Palestinian cities.
Israel had said it would agree to stop hunting fugitives, provided they sign a pledge to halt attacks and hand over weapons.
"We won't accept that (the signing of a pledge) because the Palestinian has carried out his right to defend his people against the occupation," Mashaal said. "No Palestinian would accept such signing because he would condemn himself. And this is a legitimate right."
Hmmm, a band of criminals speaking for the Palestinians in general. I thought the PA spoke for them. Nevertheless its amusing to note that this group of fugitives believes it has any rights at all, let alone the right to launch attacks against innocent civilians.
As a side note, this windbag explains how his group is not affiliated with al-Qaeda.
"Our battle is inside Palestine with the Israeli occupation. We have no relation with what's going on in Iraq. But we are, like all Arabs and Muslims, supporting the Iraqi people's right to resist the American occupation," Mashaal told The Associated Press.
Where was he when Saddam was in charge and slaughtering Iraqis by the hundreds of thousands?
Despite the rhetoric of the criminals, Israel has once again offered an olive branch.
JERUSALEM - Israeli Cabinet ministers on Thursday approved the release of 900 Palestinian prisoners and a military pullout from the West Bank town of Jericho within days in overtures intended to improve the climate ahead of next week's Mideast summit.
The ministers also approved an earlier decision by the army chief to halt the targeted killings of wanted Palestinian fugitives and agreed to form a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee to decide what to do about them.
It's time for Mahmoud Abbas to quit pussyfooting around with these guys and do what Arafat should have done.
[cross-posted to Rite Turn Only]