Every few years, media outlets will breathlessly relay a quote from a Hamas leader who almost kinda seems willing to accept a state within the 1967 borders. Then the media completely ignores the next 20 times that Hamas leaders say that they will never ever limit themselves to the 1967 borders.
Case in point, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh. In 2006, Haniyeh told Haaretz that he was willing to offer Israel a ceasefire if the Jewish State withdraws to the 1967 borders.
Then in 2008, Haniyeh told British parliamentarians, including Baron Nazir Ahmed, who later offered a 10 million pound bounty for the capture of Bush and Obama, that “A Palestinian state will not be created at this time except in the territories of 1967″, which everyone took to mean that Hamas was ready to accept the 1967 borders.
Then in April 2011, Haniyeh wrote a letter to UN Chief Ban Ki-moon saying that, “We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from] June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital.” And the media cheered that finally Hamas had come around.
And then in Dec 2011, Haniyeh told his own people,
“We say today, explicitly, so it cannot be explained otherwise, that the armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel] from the blessed land of Palestine. The Hamas movement will lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah.
“These principles are absolute and cannot be disputed: Palestine – all of Palestine – is from the sea to the river. We won’t relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine. The involvement of Hamas at any stage with the interim objective of liberation of [only] Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem, does not replace its strategic view concerning Palestine and the land of Palestine.”
The media, naturally, ignored it.
But Abbas hopped out and said that even higher Hamas top dog, Khaled Mashaal was on board with a compromise.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal agreed in the context of reconciliation with Fatah that resistance to Israel must be non-violent and a Palestinian state should be based on the1967 borders, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with the Euronews international television network.
Meanwhile Haniyeh appeared and “called for the formation of an Arab army “to liberate Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque very soon.”
Now Khaled Mashall arrived in Gaza, thanks to Obama’s ceasefire, and asserted his willingness to compromise.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, making his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip, vowed on Saturday never to recognize Israel and said his Islamist group would never abandon its claim to all Israeli territory.
“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told a sea of supporters at an open-air rally, the highlight of his three-day stay in Gaza.
So Hamas is absolutely willing and ready to not accept a state within the 1967 borders.