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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

HAMAS TRIAL BALLOON (The Abu Yousef Document)

Peace Document negotiated by Dr Ahmed Yousef
December 26, 2006
A Hamas delegation headed by Dr. Ahmed Yousef, political adviser to Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, prepared, in talks with European officials, a draft for a five-year hudna agreement between the Hamas government and Israel, titled, "Proposal for Creating Suitable Conditions for Ending the Conflict." Research institutes that are linked to the governments of Switzerland, Britain and Norway participated in the drafting of the plan.
The plan talks about a "hudna" agreement for five years, during which Israel would withdraw to an agreed-upon line in the West Bank, the Palestinians would commit themselves to stage no attacks against Israel or Israelis anywhere in the world, and Israel would commit itself not to attack the Palestinians. Israel would not build in the settlements and not pave roads in the West Bank, and would also commit itself to enable free movement inside the West Bank, between the West Bank to East Jerusalem, between Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip—and free passage to Egypt and Jordan.  "Political" prisoners would be released, including those involved in terrorist activity. According to the plan, an international force led by the Quartet states and Turkey, and reporting to the UN Security Council, would supervise the implementation of the agreement. 
The draft states that beyond the five-year period, the Palestinian vision is to establish a Palestinian state that will extend over all the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.  The Palestinians will also demand to realize the right of return, but the draft does not state whether this refers to return to their state or to Israel within the Green Line.
Commenting on the draft, Nahum Barnea notes the recognition of Israel implicit in the draft, noting that while it "does not talk about explicit recognition of Israel by Hamas," that "every article in it says recognition and cooperation, in theory and in practice. In the document Hamas appears like a shy version of Fatah, having intimate relations with Israel while remaining a virgin, like in the advertisements which offered women a brassiere which would make them feel as though they were not wearing one." Barnea's analysis concludes with a sour note: "If there were any connection between the contents of this document and what Haniya and Mashal are saying in public, one could say that Hamas had begun proceedings for conversion to Judaism. The paper could have formed the basis for intensive negotiations between the Israeli government and the Hamas government, and after that for five years of paradise. But in the meantime there is no such connection."(Yedioth Ahronoth, 12/22/06)

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