Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (R) shakes hands with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter after their joint news conference in Gaza City June 16, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
By Saud Abu Ramadan
GAZA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Deposed Prime Minister of
Hamas in Gaza Ismail Haneya told former U.S. President Jimmy Carter that Hamas
accepts a Palestinian state established on the territories occupied by Israel in
Haneya told a joint news conference after his meeting
with Carter in Gaza that Hamas accepts the establishment of an independent
Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967 "with Jerusalem as its
Carter, meanwhile, told reporters that the principle
of solving the conflict based on the two-state solution and sharing Jerusalem as
a joint capital for the two states is the best for achieving a comprehensive and
Haneya said, "If there is a real project that aims at
resolving the Palestinian cause on establishing a Palestinian state on 1967
borders, under full Palestinian sovereignty, we will support it."
"We are pushing towards the dream of having our
independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," Haneya, who stood with Carter
in the news conference told reporters.
Asked about the captive Israeli soldier in Gaza Gilad
Schalit, held by Hamas militants since June 2006, Haneya said "We are
encouraging the talks to reach an honorable prisoners' exchange deal with
"We want to end this file according to political and
humanitarian basics," said Haneya, adding "We welcome all the efforts exerted to
finalize this file, in which Mr. Carter can help in order to reach a prisoners'
Haneya also said that Carter's visit to the region
"came after the current changes in the U.S. administration policy, where we
followed with concerns President Barack Obama's speech."
"We found a new spirit and a new language in the
official American speech," said Haneya, who added that he explained to Carter
the reality of the Gaza Strip people's suffering due to the blockade and to the
Asked about the internal dialogue, Haneya said "We
explained to Carter our desire and attitude to regain unity and end the current
split and reach a national accordance agreement and form a national unity
Carter, meanwhile, stressed in the news conference on
the fact that the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip has to be lifted,
adding that "I support having two states with Jerusalem as a joint capital."
Asked about his feeling after touring the Gaza Strip,
Carter said "My feeling is a feeling of sadness, anger and despair after seeing
all this destruction that was caused to innocent people."
"I know that the Israeli destruction of houses,
infrastructure, and factories in Gaza was carried out by American weapons. I
hope that this won't be repeated again," said Carter.
Speaking about the inter-Palestinian situation, he
said that he held talks with both Fatah and Hamas leaders, adding "I hope they
will soon overcome their differences, reach an agreement and reunite. I hope
that they exchange political prisoners soon."
He also said that he would send President Obama and
his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their peace envoy George Mitchell a
report explaining in details the situation in the Gaza Strip."
Carter had left the Gaza Strip following the several
hour-visit to the enclave controlled by Islamic Hamas movement. He visited
several sites and neighborhoods and checked destruction caused by an Israeli war
on Gaza ended in Jan. 18.
Carter, who paid a significant visit to Gaza Strip,
said he has tried to convince Hamas leaders to denounce violence, accept the
existing interim agreements and recognize the right of the Jewish state to
"I called on Hamas leaders when I met with them in
Damascus and I tell Hamas leaders in Gaza today to accept these conditions. They
(Hamas) made several statements, and showed readiness to join the peace and move
towards establishing just and independent Palestinian state," Carter said in
Carter, who is the highest former U.S. diplomat to
visit Gaza after Gaza offensive, toured the Gaza Strip, visited sites and
neighborhoods damaged by the Israeli offensive, and held talks with Hamas'
lawmakers and officials, including deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haneya.
"Hamas leaders want peace and they want to have reconciliation not only with their Fatah brothers but also eventually with Israelis to live side by side, with two nations, both sovereign nations recognized by each other and living in peace," Carter told students at a graduation ceremony in the Gaza Strip.
Carter visits Gaza, urging Hamas to denounce violence
GAZA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter paid on Tuesday a significant visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, aiming at convincing Hamas leaders to denounce violence and accept the existing peace agreements as well as the right of the Jewish state to exist.
"I called on Hamas leaders that I met with in Damascus and I will tell Hamas leaders in Gaza today to accept these conditions. They (Hamas) made several statements, and showed readiness to join the peace and move towards establishing just and independent Palestinian state," Carter said in Gaza. Full story
Haneya: Hamas accepts two-state solution
GAZA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement accepts a Palestinian statehood alongside Israel, its deposed premier Ismail Haneya said Tuesday.
"We welcome and push for achieving this dream if there was a real project aims at settling the Palestinian cause on the basis," Haneya said in a news conference with visiting former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in Gaza city. Full story
Carter urges Palestinians to reunite
GAZA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Tuesday called on the Palestinians to reunite to pave the way for the establishment of their independent statehood.
Carter made the call from Gaza city when he toured neighborhoods that have sustained damage and destruction during Israel's 22-day offensive against the Hamas-run enclave in January. Full story