Khalid Mishaal, Hamas's chief political officer, told ZDF, a German public television channel, on Friday: "Israel must withdraw from territories it has occupied since 1967. This includes the capital of Jerusalem."

 

Other conditions Mishaal said include "the right of refugees to return as well as the dismantlement of Jewish settlements, the destruction of the separation barrier and the release of all [Palestinian] detainees.

 

"If and only if Israel does this, then Hamas, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims will be ready for true peace."

 

The Palestinian Authority has said there can be no peace unless Israel gives up all Palestinian territory conquered in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

 

Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the European Union and United States, refuses to recognise Israel and has failed to renounce violence since taking power after a landslide win in January's election.

 

Cash emergency

 

Mishaal has also called for the
dismantling of settlements

The Palestinian Authority is currently facing a financial emergency because of EU and US funding cuts to the Hamas-led government.

 

However, Mishaal said several countries had committed themselves to give money to the Palestinian Authority.

 

He said: "Iran has committed up to $50 million, Saudi Arabia $92.5 million, Qatar $50 million and Russia $10 million."

 

Mishaal also described Monday's suicide attack in Tel Aviv by an Islamic Jihad bomber as "an act of self-defence".

 

In the interview, he said: "The international community would have done better to halt Israeli aggression rather than punish the Palestinian people for having chosen their government in free elections."