Haniyeh: truce, 1967 borders, the works

Palestinian PM (for now!) Ismail Haniyeh gave an eloquent and stirring speech in which, among many, many other things, he said (again) that he was generally in favor of the 2002 Beirut peace initiative (the one that Saudi Arabia backed and Ehud Olmert recently said he was interested in) with a 10-15 year truce with Israel pending a final settlement and the creation of Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. He also gave a long explanation of how Fatah and US at several turns tried to sabotage negotiations to form a national unity government. He spoke respectfully about all parties throughout, clearly going out of his way to be diplomatic and calm things down. In other words, he was extremely impressive.

Perhaps he still doesn't want to recognize Israel, but frankly I can't blame him after what that country did to his. At the end of the day, he is offering peace and negotiations.

Kudos to al-Jazeera English for showing it all (I happened upon it by chance, perhaps other channels did too.)
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.