Israeli media is reporting that according to a senior Hamas official, Hamas has denied that it is nearing a true with Israel and that it is focusing on taking power in the West Bank. The Times of Israel report begins:
August 25, 2015 Hamas is currently focusing its energy’s on taking power in the West Bank, a senior official in the organization said Monday.
Mahmoud Zahar told Hamas’s Al Aksa TV that the organization should build on its successes in legislative and municipal elections in the West Bank and move to consolidate its power.
Zahar denied reports that there was progress in talks with Israel to bring about a long-term truce between Hamas in Gaza and the Jewish State.
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair has reportedly been trying to broker a long-term truce between the sides in recent weeks. Zahar said that Hamas turned down an invitation from Blair to send its representatives to London in order to discussed the proposed agreement.
Kayed al-Ghul, a senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said earlier this month that the proposals received by Hamas through Blair call for halting the development of weapons and for the digging of tunnels, in return for lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The proposals, according to the PFLP official, also envisage the creation of a ‘water passage’ to the Gaza Strip that would be under the supervision of Israel. He added that various international parties have been making serious efforts to reach an agreement between Hamas and Israel that would be compatible with the latter’s conditions.”
Israel has denied that is carrying out negotiations with Hamas.
Zahar said that Hamas’s “resistance” against Israel had raised the standing of the organization in the world and brought international players to attempt to make agreements with the group. He said that the success of the organization in Gaza should be replicated in the West Bank.
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In September 2014, the GMBDW reported that another senior Hamas official had said that his movement may seek to negotiate with Israel, claiming that Islamic faith does not prohibit such contacts.