Hamas unveiled at a press conference Monday an updated charter that dropped their Muslim Brotherhood ties and call for Israel’s destruction — while still refusing to recognize Israel or the Jewish state’s right to exist, and advocating the duty of jihad against it.
The Gaza rulers, who are designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, first tried to hold their presser at the Intercontinental hotel in Doha, Qatar, but the venue called off the event after warnings that they could be found in violation of sanctions for hosting Hamas. The terror group then found a home for their news conference at the U.S.-owned Sheraton hotel chain.
Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashal claimed to reporters that “Hamas’ struggle is not with Jews or their faith, but is a struggle against Zionism and its aggressions,” and that the group would not “recognize the Zionist entity,” meaning Israel.
Hamas, Mashal said, “will not give up any parcel of Palestinian land and strives to liberate all of the Palestinian lands,” which they consider to include all of Israel, and they are “willing to negotiate a sovereign and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital” while demanding full right of return for Palestinians.
“Opposition to the occupation through any means is a basic right that includes an armed struggle,” he said, sanctioning and encouraging continued attacks on Israel.
Hamas timed the announcement to coincide with Israel’s independence day, Yom Ha’atzmaut.
And Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will be welcomed to the White House by President Trump on Wednesday as the latter is eager to forge a Mideast peace deal.
“Hamas is attempting to fool the world but it will not succeed,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. “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 new Hamas charter says “Palestine is a land whose status has been elevated by Islam” that “was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project” and carries “the sublime objective of liberation.”
The goal of Hamas “is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Its frame of reference is Islam, which determines its principles, objectives and means.”
“By virtue of its justly balanced middle way and moderate spirit, Islam – for Hamas – provides a comprehensive way of life and an order that is fit for purpose at all times and in all places. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. It provides an umbrella for the followers of other creeds and religions who can practice their beliefs in security and safety. Hamas also believes that Palestine has always been and will always be a model of coexistence, tolerance and civilizational innovation,” the terror group continues.
They make clear that they will not accept a divided Jerusalem in a two-state solution, emphasizing the city “is the capital of Palestine.”
“Its religious, historic and civilizational status is fundamental to the Arabs, Muslims and the world at large. Its Islamic and Christian holy places belong exclusively to the Palestinian people and to the Arab and Islamic Ummah. Not one stone of Jerusalem can be surrendered or relinquished. The measures undertaken by the occupiers in Jerusalem, such as Judaization, settlement building, and establishing facts on the ground are fundamentally null and void,” the charter states.
Israel, they claim, “poses a danger to international security and peace and to mankind and its interests and stability.”
“Hamas is of the view that the Jewish problem, anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims.”
The document asserts “there shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity,” a non-negotiable condition for Netanyahu.
“Whatever has befallen the land of Palestine in terms of occupation, settlement building, Judaization or changes to its features or falsification of facts is illegitimate. Rights never lapse,” Hamas states. “…Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.”
Any settlement that doesn’t give Palestinians full control of all the land considered the Palestinian homeland, they added, “will not lead to peace.”
“Resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine will remain a legitimate right, a duty and an honour for all the sons and daughters of our people and our Ummah [Muslim community].”
Hamas then claimed attacks on Israel are within international law. “Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people,” the charter says. “Hamas rejects any attempt to undermine the resistance and its arms. It also affirms the right of our people to develop the means and mechanisms of resistance.”
“…From a legal and humanitarian perspective, the liberation of Palestine is a legitimate activity, it is an act of self-defence, and it is the expression of the natural right of all peoples to self-determination.”