United Press International (UPI)
May 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Only after a Palestinian state is established will Hamas decide whether to recognize Israel, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said.

"No one has the right to demand from the Palestinians … or from Hamas or any other Palestinian organization what will happen after that (the establishment of a Palestinian state.) When we achieve Palestinian statehood we will be free and without occupation … then the country will decide its policy," Israel Radio quoted Mashaal saying.

Mashaal's statements came less than a week after a reconciliation agreement was reached with Fatah in Cairo to unify the Palestinians ahead of statehood.

Mashaal told The Wall Street Journal Friday Hamas would coordinate decisions on its struggle against Israel with other Palestinian factions.

"How to manage the resistance, what's the best way to achieve our goals, when to escalate and when to cease fire, now we have to agree on all those decisions as Palestinians," he told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority president is considering appointing Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to lead the new transitional government, Ahram Online reported.

While Hamas initially objected to re-appointing Fayyad, demanding a resident of Gaza be appointed to the post, Abbas says keeping Fayyad in the position will send out a positive message to the United States and European Union, the site said.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017