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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Contrary to claims by former president Jimmy Carter, Hamas refuses to recognize Israel but will offer the Jewish state a 10-year truce if it evacuates the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshaal announced.

A number of Hamas officials told WorldNetDaily that Meshaal’s statements – which followed meetings over the weekend with Carter – do not annul the terror group’s stated goal of annihilating Israel.

“We agree to a [Palestinian] state on pre-’67 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, with genuine sovereignty – without settlements but without recognizing Israel,” Meshaal said.

“Pre-1967 borders” refers to an Israeli withdrawal from eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and Old City; from the strategic, mountainous Golan Heights, which looks down on Israeli population centers and was twice used by Syria to attack Israel; and from the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket-range of Tel Aviv and Israel’s international airport.

Speaking to WND, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum clarified that for any truce to take effect, Israel would need to evacuate “every centimeter of the West Bank and every centimeter of east Jerusalem.”

No Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, even those drafted by extreme leftist Israeli parties such as Meretz, calls for the Jewish state to evacuate the entire West Bank. Such plans cite security concerns as a reason to retain at least some of the territory.

Media accounts and Carter’s statements notwithstanding, Barhoum said Meshaal’s remarks do not imply that Hamas will ever recognize Israel.

Hamas Claims European Support

Hamas has held meetings with European Union parliament members and with delegations from France, Italy and Norway who expressed interest in supporting and possibly establishing relations with the terrorist organization, Hamas spokesman Barhoum told this column. Barhoum said he hoped Carter’s meetings with Hamas leaders would encourage European officials to make public their purported desire to support his group.

The EU has denied meeting Hamas and lists the group as a terrorist organization. But Italy has expressed interest in talking to Hamas, and Norway, not an EU member, met leading Hamas officials. Barhoum said that prior to Carter’s visit Hamas “met a delegation from the European Parliament, and they are supporting the Palestinian legitimate rights and Palestinian democracy, and they emphasized their full support for Hamas, because Hamas is the democratic choice for the Palestinians.

“There was a delegation from France, the government, and from Italy and Norway and from the EU parliament and from Carter,” Barhoum said, speaking from Gaza. “All of these are supporting Hamas, and they have a plan to support Palestinian rights and interests.”

U.S. Vehicles Used in Attack

Hamas used two seized U.S. military vehicles to carry out a large-scale attack this past weekend against a major Israeli border crossing, Hamas leaders told WND.

The vehicles were captured when Hamas took complete control of the Gaza Strip last June, overtaking all U.S.-backed security compounds in the territory associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party. Over the years the U.S. has provided Fatah with weapons, vehicles and large amounts of financial and military aid.

“We utilized two American armored Jeep vehicles in the heroic operation at Kerem Shalom,” said Abu Abdullah, who is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’s so-called military wing.

Muhammad Abdel-Al, the spokesperson and senior leader of the Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization, which participated in the attack, added, “We warned you we would obtain all the weapons the Zionists and Americans gave to your puppets in Fatah. It is only a matter of time before we take over the West Bank and obtain the American weapons you are giving Fatah now.”

In the attack, which took place just hours after the beginning of the Passover holiday, two explosive-laden vehicles disguised as Israeli military jeeps exploded at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main Israeli transport area for goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Israeli defense officials called the border attack the largest, most sophisticated Hamas terrorist operation since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Obama Flattered by Kennedy Comparison

Barack Obama’s campaign said it is “flattered” that Hamas’s endorsement of the Illinois senator compared him to John F. Kennedy, though it objects to any diplomatic contact with the terrorist group.

“I like John Kennedy, too,” said chief Obama strategist David Axelrod.

“That’s about the only thing we have in common with this gentleman from Hamas. We all agree that John Kennedy was a great president, and it’s flattering when anybody says that Barack Obama would follow in his footsteps.”

Axelrod was reacting to comments earlier this week from Ahmed Yousuf, Hamas’s top political adviser in the Gaza Strip, who said Hamas “hopes” Obama will win the presidential election and “change” America’s foreign policy.

“I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse…. I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principle. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance,” Yousuf said during an exclusive interview with this reporter and WABC-New York radio’s John Batchelor.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.” 

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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