Talk of a truce

August 13, 2004

Perhaps I can take issue with Jack Cohen's statement that Hamas and Islamic Jihad oppose peace with Israel (Letters, July 30).

Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi, Hamas' leader after the murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin until his own murder by Israel, stated: "It is forbidden in our religion to give up a part of our land, so we can't recognise Israel at all. But we can accept a truce with them, and we can live side by side and refer all the issues to the coming generations."

The basis for a truce would have been Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 border. That does not seem a bad starting place for an end to so much bloodshed. It is not possible to ask al-Rantissi or Sheikh Yassin whether they still take this view, but, if anyone can find them, it might be worth asking the current leadership.

Robert Lowe
Leeds Metropolitan University

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