Palestinian Affairs

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Hamas Co-Founder: We Must Remove the Jews From Palestine “In Its Entirety”

Jews must be driven out of all of Israel, not just the areas that the Jewish state took over in 1967, a co-founder of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas proclaimed in a televised speech last week.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, who still serves as a prominent leader of the Iran-backed terror group, said on Al-Aqsa TV on March 8 that the Quran “talks about driving you out ‘from where they have driven you out.’

From where did the Jews drive us out? From within the 1967 borders or the 1948 borders? From within the 1948 borders. So you should drive them out from within the 1948 borders, like they drove you out. Hence, removing the Jews from the land they occupied in 1948 is an immutable principle, because it appears in the Book of Allah.

Al-Zahar went on to criticize other “Palestinian factions that talk about the 1967 borders,” saying that on the issue of borders, “we base ourselves upon our religion, while you do not.” He emphasized this point later in his speech: “Let me advise our brothers and sisters from the Islamic movement—from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad—never to use the term ‘1967 [borders].’

These remarks may undercut recent reports that Hamas plans to change its charter to endorse a Palestinian state based on the 1949 armistice agreement lines.

Al-Zahar went on to proclaim that Hamas had “liberated Gaza, part of Palestine, but I am not prepared to accept just Gaza…our position is: Palestine in its entirety, and not a grain of soil less.”

He also emphasized his group’s commitment to total war against Israel, citing another Quranic verse that says “Kill them wherever you may find them.” He proclaimed that Hamas “will fight them wherever we can – on the ground, underground, and if we have airplanes, we will fight them from the skies.”

Al-Zahar’s use of the word “underground” likely refers to the terror group’s intricate series of tunnels, which it has used to stage attacks inside Israel. The terror group is believed to spend some $40 million of its $100 million military budget on tunnel construction and dig around six miles of tunnels every month. A senior IDF official told Channel 2 in February that Hamas had rebuilt its tunnel infrastructure and rocket arsenal since they were largely destroyed during the 2014 war against Israel.

While Hamas does not have military jets, it has been known to use drones to stage attacks.

Al-Zahar’s speech was first reported in English by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

[Photo: موقع صفا / Wikimedia]