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US News reports today in an interview with Abu Marzouk, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau that Hamas will not abide by any of the Quartets requirements.

Hamas will not recognize Israel

Hamas will not renounce violence

Hamas will not abide by previous international agreements

Marzouk says recognizing Israel is a red line that Hamas will not cross. He further declares that Hamas military forces will remain separate and not be absorbed into the future Palestinian army. Having a standing militia not under government control would obviously imperil any future non-Hamas ruled regime with a waiting militia ready to attack it as well as Israel at any time.

Al-Monitor: The weapons wielded by the al-Qassam Brigades constitute one of the hardest issues dealt with in the reconciliation effort. What are Hamas’ proposals in this regard, and what are the red lines that you think must not be crossed? Will you allow the brigades to be assimilated into the Palestinian security forces?

Abu Marzouk: This issue was not discussed at all in reconciliation negotiations with Fatah; it was never put on the table. The al-Qassam Brigades’ weaponry is of national importance to confront the occupation. Hamas’ position in this regard is clear, and it will not allow any tampering with the brigades’ armament, under any circumstances, because it is a strategic asset for all Palestinians. In contrast, the Quartet negotiations require that violence be renounced, which, in effect, means that the al-Qassam weapons must be decommissioned. But this is unacceptable, and Hamas will reject it outright.

Al-Monitor: It was not clear whether Hamas would endorse the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel, if it became part of the former. Can you clarify the movement’s position in this regard?

Abu Marzouk: Hamas will not recognize Israel. This is a red line that cannot be crossed. The future government is not interested in providing Israel with recognition, and the conditions set by the Quartet committee do not concern us one bit. We would have spared ourselves seven years of misery under the siege and two wars in 2008 and 2012 had we wanted to recognize Israel. Hamas underwent great political pressure and suffering during the past years, and yet it did not recognize Israel.

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