The terrorist organisation Hamas released a new policy document at a conference in Doha, Qatar on Monday, continuing its call for an armed struggle against Israel and rejecting any recognition of Israel.
The new document has been purported by some to present a new, “softer” stance towards Israel in an attempt to appear more favourably internationally, but notably maintains its call for Israel’s total destruction.
The amendment, which does not formally replace the 1987 founding charter, endorses armed struggle against “occupying Zionist aggressors” and fails to recognise the Jewish State. Despite the document dropping explicit calls to kill all Jews, the founding charter’s consistent antisemitic rhetoric has not been changed.
Reacting to the new publication, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “When Hamas stops building tunnels and spends its resources on civilian infrastructure and ceases educating toward killing Israelis – that will be true change. But that hasn’t happened”.
The five-page policy document’s so-called more moderate language agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the Six Day War 1967 borders, but states clearly that “there is no alternative to the liberation of the entirety of Palestine, from the river to the sea, no matter how long the occupation persists”.
David Keyes, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Netanyahu, stated: “Hamas is attempting to fool the world, but it will not succeed”.
He added: “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 document also insists that the terror group is not a revolutionary force and removed specific references to its roots to Muslim Brotherhood, in a political move designed to aid a relationship with Egypt.
Khaled Mashal, the leader of Gaza’s political bureau, offered no recognition of Israel’s legitimacy at the press conference in Doha, affirming: “Hamas advocates the liberation of all of Palestine but is ready to support the state of 1967 borders without recognising Israel or ceding any rights”.
The new political amendment rejects the Oslo accords and asserts that armed resistance will remain “a legitimate right, a duty and an honour” and the primary “strategic choice for protecting the principles and rights of Palestinian people”.
Ed Royce, Chair of the US House of Representatives Foreign Relations committee, criticised the latest amendment: “Until Hamas recognises Israel’s right to exist, its words are meaningless. I will see to it that Hamas remains designated a terrorist organisation as long as it continues to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, remains an Iranian proxy, and engages in other acts that threaten the US and Israel”.