GAZA CITY: Senior officials in the Islamic group Hamas are indicating a willingness to negotiate a long-term truce with Israel as long as the borders of Gaza are opened to the rest of the world.
"We want to be part of the international community," Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad told a foreign news agency at the Gaza-Egypt border, where he was coordinating Arab aid shipments. "I think Hamas has no interest now to increase the number of crises in Gaza or to challenge the world."
Hamas is trying hard to flex its muscles in the aftermath of Israel’s punishing onslaught in the Gaza Strip, doling out cash, vowing revenge and declaring victory over Zionist aggression.
Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, said in comments aired Thursday that the Palestinians must heal their internal rifts and he welcomed aid for Gaza from any source. He also seemed to leave a door open for better relations with the U.S.
"I think it is not in America’s interest to stay in conflict with the Arab and Muslim world, considering its interests in the region," Haniyeh, who remains in hiding after Israel’s onslaught, said on Al-Jazeera television. "We hope that the new American President revises all the policies of his predecessor."