Hamas official: Group's new charter to address antisemitic language

Pressed on a time-frame for the release of the supposed revised charter, the senior Hamas official did not specify an exact date.

January 26, 2017 12:15
2 minute read.
Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a rally in memory of their seven comrades

Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a rally in memory of their seven comrades, who were killed when a tunnel collapsed close to the Gaza Strip's eastern border with Israel. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A senior Hamas official on Wednesday said that the Palestinian terror organization is set to release a new charter that addresses the antisemitic language contained in the group's original mission statement.

Osama Hamdan told Al Jazeera that Hamas will be publishing its new charter "very soon," and that the language in the new document is careful not to castigate anyone based on "religion" or "race."

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“We will have a clear political document, which is supposed to be in the near future, clarifying all those points,” Hamdan told "UpFront" host Mehdi Hasan.

“You will find in this document clear words that we [are] against the Zionists, against the occupation of our lands and we will resist the occupiers, whoever they were," he added.
Hamas rally in Gaza following a terrorist truck ramming in Jerusalem that killed four Israelis

Hamas official Osama Hamdan

Pressed on a time-frame for the release of the supposed revised charter, Hamdan did not specify an exact date.

Hamas' original 1988 charter makes numerous antisemitic statements, including claims of Jewish world domination. The text also utilizes Islamic scripture to provide justification for attacking and killing Jewish people around the world.

The Hamas official was also asked if the new charter was more amenable to prospects of a two-state solution with Israel. Hamdan replied that this "would be inaccurate." He added, however: "We want to build a Palestinian state on the lines of the 4th of June 67, including Jerusalem, with the right of return for Palestinians.”

Asked if he believes if suicide attacks targeting Israeli citizens were justified, Hamdan appeared to defend the terror tactic, making a comparison with Israeli rockets falling into residential areas in Gaza.

“What’s the problem in that: the bombs or the suicide actions?"

“As Palestinians we don’t have…  tanks…so we use what we have,” he added. 

Hamdan was also asked to address recent reports claiming that the new Trump administration in the US was planning to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and if that prospect would usher in a new wave of violence.

“I don’t accept the idea of having violence from the Palestinian side,” he said.

“Now if there was changes or the United States administration try to make a change in the status of Jerusalem, of course that will mean an action from the Palestinian side and no one can control that,” he added. 

Hamdan also addressed recent reports claiming that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas were close to signing a reconciliation deal, an idea he endorsed as the right direction forward for the two organizations.

 “We need… a national unity government,” he said. “Israelis now are taking over the land by the settlements. The region is unstable.”

“The international community is not willing to help the Palestinians unless they are united,” he added. 

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