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Israel Rejects Offer from Hamas After Carter Visit

HeadlineApr 22, 2008

The Israeli government said on Monday it sees no change in Hamas’s positions after a visit by former President Jimmy Carter to the region. After a meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, Carter suggested Hamas would be willing to make peace with Israel.

Jimmy Carter: “They said that they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders if approved by Palestinians and that they would accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor next door, in peace, provided the agreements negotiated by Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas was submitted to the Palestinians for their overall approval.”

But Israeli government spokesperson David Baker rejected the offer.

David Baker: “Israel is targeted on a daily basis by rocket barrages from Hamas-controlled territory in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is an enemy of Israel. Today, they critically injured a four-year-old Israeli boy. Israel sees no change in Hamas’s extremist position.”

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Monday that Hamas accepts the establishment of a Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war but would not recognize the Jewish state.

Khaled Meshaal: “We accept a state starting from the borders of June 4 in addition to the other rights we ask for, but without recognizing Israel. We have offered a ten-year truce after Israeli withdrawal to the borders of June 4, 1967 as an alternative to the recognition. This is the clear vision of Hamas.”

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