"The two-state solution is over" and "armed confrontation will continue to be the main effort and the backbone of the resistance, until the liberation of [all] Palestine," Hamas' head of foreign liaisons told Al-Jadid/New TV on May 4.
According to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Beirut-based politburo leader Osama Hamdan said all Hamas discussions on liberating Palestine center on one non-negotiable foundation: "the return of the refugees to their homeland, and the return of the Israelis to the countries from which they came."
Hamdan's comments came on the heels of news that his organization, Hamas, had recently agreed to reconciliation terms with long-time Palestinian rival, Fatah. The reconciliation ended a four-year split that led to the establishment of separate governments in the West bank and the Gaza Strip.
Under the new agreement forged with Fatah, Hamdan's group, Hamas, can expect to hear many of its own views reiterated by senior Fatah leaders—especially on the topic of the "right of return."
"The right of return will remain sacred for every Palestinian who was forced by the Zionist war machine to leave his or her home and land in Palestine," Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas, told the Jerusalem Post on May 14. "Either we get the home and land peacefully, or we will make sacrifices until we return."
In the same article, Abbas argued that Israel's opposition to a two-state solution remained the major roadblock standing in the way of a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians had, after all, "accepted the two-state solution"—at least in Abbas' characterization.
One must look no further than Hamdan's comments to see that this has never been the case.
In a speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unequivocally endorsed a peace based upon a two-state solution, but ruled out any negotiation regarding the "right of return."
"Jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the Jewish state," Netanyahu said. "Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel."