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March 24, 2017 6:43 am

Hamas Seeks ‘Moderate’ Image as Leader Calls for Israel’s Demise

avatar by Steven Emerson

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Hamas fighters. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Yayha Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, said on Wednesday that his terrorist organization will continue its campaign to fight Israel until it secures “the liberation of all of Palestine,” despite recent reports of Hamas seeking to moderate its outlook.

“Hamas will continue in the path of Yassin for the liberation of all of Palestine — we will not surrender even a morsel [of the land],” Sinwar said. The speech took place at an event commemorating the anniversary of the death of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin.

Sinwar, who is considered extreme even by Hamas standards, openly supports violence against Israel and opposes any compromise in the terrorist group’s policies. His proclamation confirms that Hamas remains steadfast in its ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state, despite the terrorist group’s recent efforts to project a more peaceful stance to the international community.

Hamas intends to release a new party platform at the end of the month, which reportedly omits prior references to waging jihad against Jews — and promises to accept a temporary Palestinian state in the territories Israel acquired following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Support for a temporary solution, however, does not mean that Hamas will suddenly give up its aims to destroy the Jewish state in the long-run.

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Despite these new developments, Hamas refuses to revoke its 1988 charter, which openly advocates for Israel’s demise and “confronting the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews through jihad.”

“The [new] document carries a kind of superficial change, but in fact it upholds most of Hamas’ principles,” Gaza analyst Akram Atallah told the Associated Press.

Hamas does plan to rescind its status as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in an attempt to alleviate tensions with Egypt. Nevertheless, the Palestinian group refuses to completely sever its ties with the Brotherhood.

For Hamas, there is no difference between pre-1967 Israel and the West Bank or Gaza Strip. The terrorist group considers the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian territories as “Palestine.” Sinwar’s statement suggests that the group’s new manifesto is a symbolic sham aimed at deceiving Western governments into removing Hamas from terrorist designation lists.

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