Top Hamas Officials: ‘We Want [All of] Palestine, from the River to the Sea’; ‘Resistance and Jihad Are Legitimate’

Top Hamas Officials: ‘We Want [All of] Palestine, from the River to the Sea’; ‘Resistance and Jihad Are Legitimate’

Hamas consistently belies the benign intentions others continually try to thrust upon it. From MEMRI:

In the nine months since it came to power, and despite the PLO’s demands, Hamas has not changed its views: It refuses to recognize Israel or acknowledge its legitimacy, insists that previous Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements will be recognized only if they serve Palestinian interests, continues to lay claim to all of Palestine, and, in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, offers only a temporary hudna (ceasefire). In addition, Hamas continues to express reservations about the Arab peace initiative of 2002, and to support resistance, jihad, and abduction of Israeli soldiers.TO VIEW CLIPS FROM THE MEMRI TV PROJECTON HAMAS, SEE:http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S5&P1=157 .

The following are statements made by Hamas leaders in the last two months:

Rejection of Israel and Its Legitimacy

In an interview, Palestinian Political Bureau head Khaled Mash’al told the daily Al-Hayat: “Why am I required to [recognize] the legitimacy of an occupying [entity] that is sitting on my land when there are millions of Palestinians who come from the land on which this entity is sitting? It is true that there is an entity called Israel, but I do not wish to recognize it.” [1]

At an October 20, 2006 Hamas convention in Khan Yunis, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Al-Zahar stated that “Israel is a vile entity that has been planted in our soil, and has no historical, religious or cultural legitimacy. We cannot normalize our relations with this entity. The history of this region has proven [time and again] that occupation is temporary. Thousands of years ago, the Romans occupied this land and [eventually] left. The Persians, Crusaders, and English [also] came and went. The Zionists have come, and they too will leave. [We say] no to recognizing Israel, regardless of the price we may have to pay [for our refusal].” [2]

In a sermon in Khan Yunis, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said: “Israel wants Hamas to hand it the card of recognition in the hope that this would lead to recognition by other Muslim countries. Israel may have been recognized by part of the Palestinian people and by some Arab countries. However, it [now] wants something more significant – the [trump] card of Islamic recognition – and it wants to obtain this recognition through the Palestinian government and Hamas…” [3]

Palestine From the River to the Sea

On the issue of a Palestinian state, Khaled Mash’al said: “The [Hamas] movement has agreed to [the establishment of a Palestinian] state within the 1967 borders and to a hudna… As a Palestinian, I am interested in a Palestinian state and I am not interested in the occupying state. Why do people require the Palestinians [to accept] the existence of two states as one of their principles and goals? The Zionist state exists. I [wish to] speak of my Palestinian state that does not exist. I am the one that has been denied [the right to] a state, to sovereignty, to independence, to liberty, and to self-determination. Therefore, my main [goal] is to focus on obtaining my rights. I wish to establish my state.” [4]

Mahmoud Al-Zahar said: “We [aim to liberate] all our lands… If we have the option, we will establish a state on every inch of land within the 1967 [borders], but this does not by any means imply that we will relinquish our right to all the Palestinian lands. We want all of Palestine from [Ras] Naqura to Rafah, and from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.” [5]

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