Washington, Aug. 9 - Just a few months after joining forces with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group, leading members of Iran-backed Hamas are highlighting their extremist positions and agenda of violence, including their rejection of a two-state solution, their demand for a right of return to Israel for all Palestinians and refusal to give up“one inch” of Palestine.
The recent avowals by Hamas leaders contradict recent statements they made following the power-sharing government the two groups agreed upon in May and come just before Abbas is expected to approach the United Nations to gain approval to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state. Hamas’ statements, analysts say, create the appearance that Abbas doesn’t represent the interests of the Palestinian people.
Following are recent statements by leading Hamas officials illustrating these positions:
Usama Hamdan, head of Hamas’ international relations:
"[T]he conflict will never come to an end until Israel comes to an end," adding that "Regarding what some have demanded of us, to recognize the enemy, that matter is behind us. We then clearly said that we will never recognize Israel, and today I say more than that: Israel completely doesn't exist in our political or intellectual dictionary."
--Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, July 24, 2011
The "liberation of Palestine" would be achieved only through "resistance" and the "resistance" would continue "until the liberation of the lands of Palestine from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river."
--El-Amal Web site, July 25, 2011
Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas co-founder, head of Hamas in Gaza
Al-Zahar called Abbas' plan to approach the United Nations to unilaterally declare a state ‘empty talk’ and a "political trick….[w]e do not recognize Israel, and it is very simple. We do not recognize Israel as controlling, not even one centimeter [of the land of "Palestine"], because it is an artificial state."
Al-Zahar said recognizing Israel’s right to exist “would harm the so-called ‘rights’ of millions of Palestinian refugees to ‘Palestine.’”
-- Qudsnews Web site, July 30, 2011, quoting interview with German News Agency
Khalil al-Hayeh, member of Hamas' political bureau
"The Palestinian people are still bowed under the occupation, and there is nothing to be done but to end it by means of the resistance [i.e., terrorism and violence]."
-- website of Hamas' daily Felesteen, July 31, 2011