Hamas spokesmen stress that the Mecca Agreement does not recognize Israel.

1. The entire Hamas movement and its various spokesmen praised the Mecca Agreement and expressed their commitment to implementing both its text and intentions. Hamas announced that it hoped the Agreement would bring internal Palestinian reconciliation and enable them to turn their resources to the conflict with Israel and its challenges (Hamas Website, February 9).

2. Khaled Mashaal , head of Hamas’s political bureau, made it clear that Hamas was committed to the government’s new letter of appointment, which includes honoring agreements previously signed by the PLO with Israel . He even described it as �a new diplomatic language,� adopted by Hamas because of �national need.� However, he specifically stated that Hamas had not changed it fundamental position and that �every faction retained its own political opinions� (Agence France-Presse, February 9).

3. In various interviews, Khaled Mashaal and other Hamas spokesmen clearly stated that the Mecca Agreement did not contain recognition of Israel and that Hamas had no intention of recognizing Israel :

A. Khaled Mashaal was asked by an interviewer from Al-Hayat if honoring agreements signed by the PLO meant recognition of Israel . He answered that the issue of recognition had not been raised at the discussions in Mecca (Al-Hayat, February 10).

B. Nizar Rayan , a senior Hamas activist in the Gaza Strip, made it clear that Hamas would never recognize Israel and the Mecca Agreement contained no change in the movement’s policies (Reuters from the Gaza Strip, February 9).

C. Ismail Radwan , a Hamas spokesman, said that �the agreement reached in Mecca does not mean recognition of the Israeli entity.� Hamas’s firm stance, he said, was �non-recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist movement.� He stated that the Hamas government’s position on the issue was based on �the national reconciliation document� (i.e., the prisoners’ document), which did not recognize �the Zionist entity� (Agence France-Presse, February 9).

D. Ahmad Yussuf , advisor to Abu Mazen, was asked about the Quartet’s demand for recognition of Israel . He answered that Hamas did not recognize Israel and that the fundamental platform of the next government would not include recognition of Israel (Al-Jazeera TV, February 10).

4. Although the Mecca Agreement essentially does not fulfill the basic demands of the Quartet, those who signed it expect that a massive propaganda campaign , supported by Saudi Arabia , will make it possible to market the Agreement to the international community :

A. Abu Mazen told Al-Hayat that they expected �the new government will receive international recognition to pave the way for the end of the siege,� and added, �a great effort is demanded of Palestinians and Arabs to make the international community accept the Mecca Agreement�� (Al-Hayat, February 10). Fatah’s information committee issued a release stating that Abu Mazen had sent a circular to Palestinian representatives all over the world saying that �we will initiate a broad political campaign to remove the siege our people and the Palestinian Authority are subject to��

B. Ghazi Hamad , Hamas government spokesman said the following about the effort to market the Agreement: � We have agreed with the Saudis to market this agreement internationally . Our [Saudi] brothers are in constant contact with the Americans and Europeans and I believe there is a possibility to market this agreement� (Reuters from Mecca , February 9).