Joint Hamas-Fatah Plan Implies Acceptance of 1967 Borders

A document drafted by Hamas and Fatah leaders imprisoned in Israel implies Hamas's acceptance of a potential agreement with Israel based on the 1967 borders. The document, which has been accepted by the leadership of both organizations, is the first one signed by a senior Hamas official that recognizes those borders.

"The Palestinian people, in the homeland and in the diaspora, aspires to liberate its land and realize its self-determination, including the establishment of an independent state on all the land occupied in 1967, and to assure the right of return for refugees and the liberation of all prisoners and detainees," reads the first section of the document.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the document yesterday, calling it an "important plan" that constitutes a basis for future Palestinian policy.

The document calls on all the factions in the Palestinian parliament, starting with Hamas and Fatah, to establish a national unity government "based on the document, so as to improve the Palestinians' condition," both locally and within the Arab world and the international community. It states that only a unity government can assure the success of the Palestinian government.

The document is meant to serve as a basis for dialogue between Fatah and Hamas, which are due to resume talks at the end of the month.

The document was drafted in the Hadarim prison by Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah leader, and Sheikh Abdel Halek Natshe of Hebron, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank and a member of the Palestinian parliament. Representatives of Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine were also involved in the drafting.

The plan includes several elements meant to assure that there will be no civil war in the Palestinian Authority and that Fatah and Hamas cooperate. It calls for the creation of a new Palestine Liberation Organization and the inclusion of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in PLO institutions, and urges that these changes take place by the end of the year.

"We call on everyone to accept the changes in the Palestinian arena and expand the legitimacy of the PLO as the sole legal representative of the Palestinians and the supreme legal political address," the document states.