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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 11:55 GMT
Hamas triumph
On Sunday 29 January 2006 Andrew Marr interviewed Adli Yaish, Mayor of Nablus

Please note "BBC Sunday AM" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used.

Adli Yaish
Adli Yaish, Mayor of Nablus

ANDREW MARR: Now we have made contact with Nablus and I've got the Mayor of Nablus, Hamas supporter, Adli Yaish with me. Mr. Yaish welcome.

Thank you for joining us. Can you sketch out for us...

ADLI YAISH: Thank you very much and good morning to all British viewers.

ANDREW MARR: Thank you very much. Can you sketch out for us what sort of government Hamas are going to be - are they going to be more moderate perhaps than people in the West have expected now they've got power?

ADLI YAISH: Actually I think so. Because they are like that but the West actually taking a bad picture about Hamas, they're taking only part of the picture, they're only thinking about Hamas, about attacking and making suicide bomber and that's all.

But Hamas they are doing a lot of good things to the Palestinian people, they are working with more effectively, more transparency, more credibility with the people, that's why they people choose them actually.

ANDREW MARR: One of the big problems for the West, and for Israel obviously, is that Hamas want to remove the state of Israel. Do you think that Hamas can get itself off this very, very controversial - and to many people, very offensive policy?

ADLI YAISH: Actually the problem is not like that. There is a problem with the Palestinian people, the normal people. This is, that's what I always say. The people they never thought about the Palestinian people, they always talk about Israel, they are talking about only politics. There is the normal people who are living here, in Nablus we have around 40,000, 60,000 people living in a very miserable way for over 50 years. This is the root of the Palestinian-Israeli problem.

This is the problem of the people who are living in a very, very bad condition. Now nobody's talking about that. That's why there is a problem, that's why the problem is not solved until now. But I think they should think and they should look at the roots of the Palestinian people, that means the normal people how they are living here in Nablus, in Gaza, in Jerusalem, in Ramallah, where there is these people in the camp. For example they are under siege for complete five years.

That means 1060 people are closed, they are enclosed like a big prison in Nablus for five years. This is the problem. You have to specify the whole problem not talk only politics and that talk. You should look at the bottom, at the root of the problems, the people.

ANDREW MARR: Indeed, but if there is going to be a solution, people are going to have to talk across boundaries, and the fact that Hamas has been hostile to the state of Israel has caused a problem. What happens if Hamas sticks by that policy and therefore the money that's been provided by the Americans and by the Europeans is turned off. What happens to the Palestinian people then?

ADLI YAISH: Actually it's the problem, we already talk about money. About money, you know since last ten years there is millions and millions of money coming in. But the roots of the problem was not solved. Now we should look at that you say Hamas caused the problem - no - Israel caused the problem because Israel, these people they used to have their houses in Tel Aviv and in Haifa, wherever they are. We should look at this problem you know, this is what I always say.

Now I have lot of Israeli friends. We talk together as friends, we can't solve the problem. But when we speak politics you know these big politicians they have some Israeli some Palestinian may be they have some, something for their own, but not what the people want. The Israeli people they want peace. We Palestinian people also we need peace. But peace not a master and a slave as we see. The Israeli government should talk to the Palestinian as they are partner, not as a slave because they have the power if they have power then they should impose what they like, no.

They should talk to the Palestinian as we are human being, the Israeli are human being. We should always live together, I say always Palestine is a holy land, holy land, Moses, Jesus Christ. We have lots of, in Nablus, Christian living in Nablus, we have some problems, the Jews are living here and we are living here happily and easily without politics without these politicians talking about our future.

ANDREW MARR: That certainly sounds a moderate message there. Thank you very much indeed for joining us today.


NB: this transcript was typed from a recording and not copied from an original script.

Because of the possibility of mis-hearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, the BBC cannot vouch for its accuracy

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