Hamas Reiterates Vow to Never Recognize Israel, Promises to Continue Armed Struggle
Hamas will never recognize Israel and will not accept the conditions laid out by the Middle East peacemaking Quartet, according to the Islamist movement’s deputy leader.
Speaking late on Saturday, Mussa Abu Marzouq said Hamas, which recently signed a reconciliation deal with the Western-backed leadership in the occupied West Bank, would never agree to recognize Israel.
“We will not recognize the Zionist entity,” he said at a press conference in Gaza City.
Related coverageJune 30, 2016 3:51 pm
Recognizing Israel is one of the key conditions laid out in the 2003 peacemaking roadmap of the Middle East Quartet, which brings together the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.
The other two key demands are a renunciation of violence and acceptance of all prior agreements with Israel.
Abbas, who is to head the new government, to consist of political independents, has insisted it will abide by all three principles.
But Abu Marzouq said Hamas would never accept the Quartet’s conditions.
He also said the question of disarming Hamas’s armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, was “never mentioned” in talks with the PLO since the unity deal was inked on April 23.
“No one asked to discuss this,” he said.
On Saturday, Abu Marzouk and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited the houses of the families of terrorist leaders who have been killed by Israel – including Fatah leaders.
Al Monitor has more details on how insistent Hamas is to keep its own, separate terror wing that will not answer to Fatah:
One factor complicating matters, Al-Monitor learned from the Ministry of Finance in the Gaza Strip, is that some 25,000 employees in the Hamas government work in the security services, and most of them belong to the Qassam Brigades. According to one Qassam military official, after the formation of the next government, these employees will take orders from the brigade’s military leadership, not their current manager at the Ministry of Interior.
A Hamas leader who spoke on condition of anonymity dismissed all talk of dissolving the brigades. He told Al-Monitor, “This talk doesn’t deserve a response. The Qassam Brigades were created before the PA was established and has its own independent policy in dealing with Israel, away from any tutelage by anyone, including the next government.”
This is apparently what “reconciliation” means.
No one is noting that Fatah also maintains its own terror wings that it refuses to dismantle.
Al Monitor also had an important piece last week that described exactly what Hamas wanted to get out of “unity” – and it sure isn’t peace:
Abbas has seemingly made a concession about Hamas’ participation in the PLO and its institutions. This had long been an obstacle to the implementation of all the previous agreements, which prompted Hamas to waive the participation of any of its members or close associates in the next — likely technocrat — government.
The Hamas source said, “The reconciliation agreement cannot succeed without the activation of the PLO and Hamas’ participation in it. This is a clear and explicit condition to Hamas, and this is what was signed in previous agreements and emphasized in the latest agreement.”
The PA government is not independent; it reports to the PLO. Hamas’ goal is to take over the PLO and thereby take over the entire Palestinian Arab government eventually. This move is not nearly as much a loss for Hamas as it is being represented, because people forget this crucial fact. (It is the PLO that is recognized as the “State of Palestine” by the UN, not the sort-of democratically elected PA.)
The West keeps thinking that the PA’s elections, presided over by Jimmy Carter, were meaningful. Dazzled by this fake display of democracy, they forget that the PA has no independence.