Hamas will engage in “resistance” in order “to liberate the rest of Palestine and the territories of 1948” with “no negotiations,” a co-founder of the terrorist group Hamas asserted, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, still a top official of Hamas, made his comments at a press conference in Gaza, apparently in response to concerns expressed by another Gaza-based terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), that the policy document released last week suggested that Hamas no longer sought Israel’s destruction.
“As partners with our Hamas brothers in the struggle for liberation, we feel concern over the document,” Ziad al-Nakhala, PIJ’s deputy leader said in a statement on the group’s website Saturday.
“We are opposed to Hamas’s acceptance of a state within the 1967 borders and we think this is a concession which damages our aims,” al-Nakhala added.
Al-Zahar responded by reinforcing Hamas’ commitment to the complete liberation of Palestine. “If we liberate Palestine though the resistance until the 1967 borders, we will go directly to liberate the rest of Palestine and the territories of 1948, and there will be no negotiations,” he said.
“If Hamas liberated 99.9% of the land of Palestine, it will not give up on the rest,” al-Zahar continued. He added, “We cannot religiously, morally or nationally give up on one inch of the land of Palestine.”
While some interpreted the new document as a change for Hamas, the terrorist organization never presented it as a replacement to its 1988 charter which calls for the destruction of Israel. Reuters reported that al-Zahar explicitly confirmed this at the news conference.
“When people say that Hamas has accepted the 1967 borders, like others, it is an offense to us,” al-Zahar said according to the Reuters account.
Al-Zahar continued, “We have reaffirmed the unchanging constant principles that we do not recognize Israel; we do not recognize the land occupied in 1948 as belonging to Israel and we do not recognize that the people who came here (Jews) own this land.”
“Therefore, there is no contradiction between what we said in the document and the pledge we have made to God in our (original) charter,” Zahar concluded.
[Photo: موقع صفا / WikiCommons ]