Hamas Rejects Demilitarized Palestinian State Idea

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DAMASCUS, Syria - Speaking from Damascus on Thursday, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal rejected Israel's position presented by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University two weeks ago.

"The Palestinian people reject the Israeli position on a demilitarized state, on the refugees, on Jerusalem and on the Jewish state," Mashaal said.

"A demilitarized state is a pathetic state, not a serious national entity," the exiled Hamas leader said.

"The Palestinians will not accept Jerusalem as a unified city under Jewish control," he said.

Mashaal said the Palestinians would never accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state nor would they give up the "right of return" for an estimated five million foreign Arabs to "their former homes" in Israel.

Mashaal blamed the West for "Israel's extremism" and called U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that Israel halt all settlement construction "positive, but not enough."

He also said the U.S. administration's attitude toward Hamas is "a step in the right direction."

In an interview with Time magazine, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the U.S. is sending the wrong message to the extremists.

"The fact that this [Iranian] regime continues to be an acceptable partner for dialogue is a really bad message. It shows the bad guys are the winners," Lieberman said.

Source: Ynet news

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