On Friday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat declared that Hamas, the Islamist organization that rules Gaza, is not a terrorist organization.
Speaking at a conference held at the Masarat think tank in Ramallah, an institution dedicated to Palestinian reconciliation, Erekat said, “Hamas is a Palestinian movement, is not and will never be a terrorist organization.”
Also over the weekend, Erekat presented a paper calling for a Palestinian unity government including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Both Hamas and PIJ are designated terror organizations by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) of the United States.
The Hamas charter is a genocidal document that declares the organization’s “struggle against the Jews” and quotes from the Koran that “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews).” Spurred by this religious based hatred, and applying the tactics of its secular forerunner the PLO, Hamas has launched terror attacks killing hundreds of Israeli civilians, including a series of bus bombings in early 1996, the bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in 2001 and the bombing of the Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya in 2002. In addition, with help from Iran, Hamas has built a formidable arsenal, launching over 12,000 rockets into Israel since 2001. The rockets have ranges up to 75 kilometers putting roughly 40 percent of Israel’s population in range of their weaponry.
Erekat has a record of making controversial statements and expressing extreme positions, including accusing Israel of killing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and rejecting the American backed demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.
In the October 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine, Elhanan Miller reported on how attempts at Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, and the West’s willful ignorance of this issue, complicate and even endanger the peace process.
[Photo: Tobias Kleinschmidt / WikiCommons ]