Hamas: No Agreement that Includes Israel's Right to Exist

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Secretary of State John Kerry says a permanent agreement will emerge at the end of the nine-month U.S.-brokered negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. But despite the media-generated rhetoric, many in Israel remain skeptical.

While Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim they could start a third intifada in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the Palestinian Authority says that won't happen.

Palestinian affairs analyst Khaled Abu Toameh, quoting sources of the London-based Asharq Alawsat, reported that calls for "a new intifada in the West Bank" are falling on deaf ears.

According to the report, Hamas wants to embarrass the P.A. government by stoking attacks against Israelis while simultaneously halting rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel by Gaza-based terror groups.

Meanwhile, Hamas says it will never recognize a peace agreement with Israel.

"We will not recognize any agreements at the expense of our land, rights and religious sites," Asharq al-Awsat quoted Hamas officials on Sunday. "Palestine -- the whole of Palestine from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river [i.e., Israel] -- is the property Palestinian people and our nation, and no usurper has any right to a speck of dust of its territory."

A spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the so-called military wing of Hamas, promised to be "at the heart of the new intifada."

And Islamic Jihad member Ahmed al-Mudallal said, "Resistance in Palestine is the spearhead in the confrontation with the Zionist project, which targets Jerusalem, al-Aksa [mosque on the Temple Mount] and the whole of Palestine."

Hamas vowed never to accept any agreement that includes recognition of Israel's right to exist.

"Negotiations and security coordination with the Zionist enemy form a cover for the continuation of the occupation's crimes against our territory, our people and our religious sites," the statement continued.

"We call upon all Palestinian forces and factions to reject the path of these wasteful negotiations, which have proved their failure to achieve our people's dreams and only brought them more waste, loss and division in the face of the occupation's crimes and plans."

Hamas called on the Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction "to end negotiations and security coordination with the enemy and to return to resistance, national reconciliation and Palestinian unity."

Fatah responded by saying it "will remain committed to Palestinian unity and will continue to work for the unity of the people, territory and the Palestinian leadership, which is represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization," Asharq al-Awsat reported.

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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