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Israeli-Arab Editor: Israel Can Only Do Business with Hamas

[Nazareth] – The Palestinian Authority is corrupt; the only force Israel should negotiate with is Hamas.

The Israeli-Arab editor of A-‘Sinara weekly, Lutfi Mashour, told The Media Line (TML) he believes only Hamas is able to control the Palestinians. “I once met the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He asked me, ‘Who can we talk to on the Palestinian side?’ I said to him what I am saying to you today: Only Hamas. They have the respect of the Palestinian people. It’s not because they are more nationalistic. It’s because they are more honest.”

Lutfi Mashour

According to Mashour, it is a waste of precious time for Israel not to initiate talks with Hamas. When asked how Israel can initiate talks with a movement that does not even recognize its existence, Mashour said, “Hamas has already sent messages to Israel to the effect that they are willing to start talking. It is also known that during their time in Israeli prisons, certain Hamas leaders held talks with Israelis.”

Mashour also told TML he believes Chairman Yassir Arafat is running a corrupt regime, and that Hamas has until now been conducting its activities in an honest way. “Corruption will nevertheless eventually come to Hamas also, when they will no longer be an opposition group,” said Mashour.