US mediates compromise between Hamas and Israel, Hamas Demands Change in
By: Bassem Shehadi
The Jerusalem Times (independent Palestinian weekly) 3 April 2004
US officials are leading mediation efforts for a compromise between Hamas
and Israel, a high ranking Palestinian official told the Jerusalem Times,
under the condition of anonymity. The sought compromise demands Hamas'
unconditional freezing of all anti-Israel attacks, including retaliations to
Yassin's death, in return for the Israeli halting of assassinations against
These contacts, which include Hamas leaders in Gaza and Syria, have started
days after the Israeli assassination of the movement's founder Ahmad Yassin
in Gaza last week, the source added. "Hamas has no other option.The
Americans want it to freeze all military activities, mainly the suicidal
attacks, and, moreover, to turn it-self into a disarmed political party," he
confirmed. Otherwise, the source added, "Hamas will face more Israeli
assassinations and "a likely invasion of the whole Gaza Strip".
In other developments, Hamas voiced readiness recently for joining the
Palestinian Liberation Organization, a PLO source said. Saeed Syam, a Hamas
Leader in Gaza, didn't dismiss this news, saying ""our position is clear.
That is, we don't mind joining PLO for certain conditions."
The main condition is to grant Hamas a full partnership, including joining
all PLO institutions, which will pave the way for the movement to be part of
the Palestinian decision making and run for the upcoming elections, Syam
The most important and nonnegotiable condition, he affirmed, is to
reinstitute the canceled articles of the PLO "National Charter" that PNA
obliged to remove as part of the commitments to the 1993 Oslo accord singed
between Israel and PLO, Syyam added. "This incorporation must not be
symbolic or marginal.We require an effective annexation to the national body
(PLO), Syyam concluded.