Palestinians take part in a rally marking the 29th anniversary of the founding of the Hamas movement, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip December 16, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Hamas terrorist regime has ruled the Gaza Strip since it replaced the Palestinian Authority there in a bloody 2007 coup. This week it published a policy document with the aim of presenting a more moderate face to the world. To say it failed miserably would be an understatement.
In the midst of a renewed power struggle with Fatah and the PA, Hamas has flexed its muscles by promising moderation on one hand, while not deviating in substance from its 1987 charter’s call for Israel’s destruction.
“We wanted to present a document that truly reflects Hamas’s ideology and consensus and to present it to our supporters... and the international community,” declared Khaled Mashaal, the outgoing Hamas leader in exile.
In its 1987 founding charter, Hamas called for setting up an Islamic state in historic Palestine, or the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, which includes Israel. It also says that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, as the Palestine Liberation Organization did in 1993.
“There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity,” the document reads.
The five-page policy document was announced by Mashaal as the result of no less than four years of internal deliberations, at a news conference in Doha, Qatar. The group’s new manifesto also rebrands itself as an Islamist national movement.
In a further exercise in support-seeking braggadocio, just the day before its immoderate announcement, Hamas gave Israel 24 hours to accede to the demands of the hunger- striking Palestinian security prisoners. The Hamas ultimatum warned that otherwise it would increase its own demands in a future prisoner exchange with the Jewish state.
The Hamas manifesto was immediately ridiculed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as delusional: “When Hamas stops building tunnels and spends its resources on civilian infrastructure and ceases educating toward killing Israelis – that would be true change. But that hasn’t happened.”
Netanyahu’s spokesman, David Keyes, spelled it out further: “Hamas is attempting to fool the world, but it will not succeed. Daily, Hamas leaders call for genocide of all Jews and the destruction of Israel. They dig terror tunnels and have launched thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians. Schools and mosques run by Hamas teach children that Jews are apes and pigs. This is the real Hamas.”
The fundamentally antisemitic document also expresses Hamas’s disingenuous distinction between Jews and Israelis.
It “distinguishes between the Jews, as the people of the book [i.e., the Bible], and Judaism as a religion on the one hand, and between the occupation and the Zionist project, on the other, and believes that the conflict with the Zionist project is not a conflict with the Jews because of their religion.
“There is no alternative to the liberation of the entirety of Palestine, from the river to the sea, no matter how long the occupation persists,” the document continues, leaving no doubt that the terrorists’ ultimate goal remains Israel’s destruction.
Meanwhile, the Hamas regime continues to sacrifice its people’s reconstruction from a fruitless war to the pursuit of illusory military victories over the IDF, by spending its foreign-donated funds on building more attack tunnels instead of housing – and now even instead of electricity.
The PA has escalated the conflict with its rival by cutting off funds to purchase fuel to power Gaza’s sole power station, causing shutdowns that even further victimize the population Hamas misgoverns.
And it is not only Palestinians whom Hamas holds hostage. Human Rights Watch has condemned Hamas’s illegal detention of two Israeli citizens, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who wandered into Gaza. Hamas also holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in action in the 2014 Gaza war.
The document accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but dismisses the establishment of the State of Israel as “illegal,” asserting a Palestinian claim to the entire Land of Israel, and a “right of return” for fourth-generation descendants of refugees.
Hamas once again affirms its commitment to a nonstate, final solution for Israeli Jews, whether Zionists or not. Real change? No.