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After previous statements indicating they’d take steps toward peace, terrorist groups in Israel are rejecting calls by the Palestinian prime minister to lay down arms and join the U.S.-led “road map.”
“We will never be ready to lay down arms until the liberation of the last centimeter of the land of Palestine,” Hamas official Abdel Aziz Rantisi was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The latest statement appears to contradict comments from another Hamas official, who told ABC’s “Nightline” that attacks on Israelis would end in exchange for guarantees of an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory.
When asked on the program if the attacks would stop during negotiations, Ismail Abu Shanab of Hamas said:
“Definitely yes … we are ready to offer it at any time if there is a guarantee that those preliminary steps will be taken as part of a full or wide-scale withdrawal, and not the final steps. We want the United States to guarantee all of these things, an Israeli withdrawal, even if it is step by step.”
According to the Voice of America, “Rantisi’s statement is in line with the charter of Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel, in favor of a republic governed by Islamic law.”
Hamas was joined by another terrorist group in denouncing the call for disarmament.
Islamic Jihad said it would continue “resistance” as long as Israeli forces occupy Palestinian areas, according to VOA. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are known for planning and carrying out frequent suicide bombings.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas had issued the call to lay down weapons, hoping it would be a positive step on the U.S.-led “road map” to peace in the region.
“The armed Intifada must end and we must resort to peaceful means to achieve our goals,” Abbas had said.