Hamas has accepted Israel’s right to exist and would be prepared to nullify its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, Aziz Dwaik, Hamas’s most senior representative in the West Bank, said on Wednesday.

Dwaik’s remarks are seen in the context of Hamas’s attempts to win recognition from the international community.

Dwaik is the elected speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was released a few months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison.

His latest remarks were made during a meeting he held in Hebron with British millionaire David Martin Abrahams, who maintains close ties with senior Israeli and British government officials.

Abrahams is scheduled to brief British Foreign Secretary David Milliband this weekend on the outcome of his meeting with Dwaik and other top Hamas officials in the West Bank.

During the meeting in Hebron, Dwaik stressed that other Hamas leaders, including Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal and Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, have voiced support for the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 boundaries.

“The [Hamas] charter was drafted more than 20 years ago,” Dwaik noted, adding that his movement would even be prepared to “nullify” the document.

“No one wants to throw anyone into the sea,” he said.

Dwaik also expressed Hamas’s desire to engage in dialogue with the international community, first and foremost the European Union. He confirmed that Hamas was receiving financial aid from Iran, but said that this was the direct result of the boycott and sanctions against the movement.

“The fact that there is a possibility for recognition of Israel is a symbolic gesture,” Abrahams added. “We can all look for good in people and we can all look for bad in people. I always look for the good.”

Asked whether he might be condemned as naïve for believing Hamas, Abrahams said, “People might say that I’m naïve, so let them. But I’m prepared to give them [Hamas] a chance because I’ve got faith and confidence in Dwaik and Haniyeh. We can’t allow 1.5 million to be festering in the Gaza Strip while the majority of them are good and well-educated.”


Hamas on Thursday denied a report in an Israeli newspaper that the Resistance Movement is ready to accept Israel’s right to exist. The JPost added that Dr. Aziz Dwaik, Hamas’ senior representative in the West Bank and speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated also that Hamas is ready to nullify its charter calling for the destruction of Israel.

According to the report, Dwaik made the comments during a meeting Wednesday with British tycoon David Abrahams in Hebron.

Dwaik told Hamas website on Thursday that the report was “inaccurate”. According to him, Hamas will never recognize the occupation on Palestinian lands. Dr. Dwaik stated he told Abrahams that the PLO abolished its charter following the agreements with Israel but the Palestinian people didn’t benefit from this move.

On his part, Salah Al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza Strip, also dismissed the Israeli report on Dwaik’s comments. “The quotes are not true. Hamas’ stand regarding the Zionist entity’s recognition is clear”, stressed Al-Bardawil.

Oh well.