The Palestinian group Hamas which currently controls the government in Gaza, has released a new political charter. This comes days before Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas form the rival faction Fatah has his first meeting with Donald Trump.
There are three key difference in the current charter from the previous charter of 1988.
Previously, Hamas wanted a re-emergent Palestinian state to be consecrated on all of former Mandate Palestine, the so-called 1948 borders.
Now however, Hamas is willing to accept a Palestinian state within the borders that existed between the truce which ended the first Arab-Israeli war of 1949 and the time just prior to the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.
The so-called 1967 borders had been the terms of prior negotiations between Israel and Palestine, but Hamas usually quashed such talks because of its opposition to these terms.
Hamas also claimed to have cut ties with the violent, extremist political organisation Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in secular Arab states like Egypt and Syria.
Finally, Hamas has said that its battle is not against those of the Jewish faith but against political Zionists who of course come from many religions and in a lot of cases are atheists or agnostics.
This part of the statement from Hamas read,
“Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion.
Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity”.
Many people will read the ‘new improved’ Hamas charter as an opportunity to create further unity in Palestine and work towards some sort of compromise with Israel for the sake of peace.
Ultimately, this is an overly idealistic reading of the statements from Hamas.
Hamas is a terrorist organisation and one which aims to divide Arabs not just in Palestine but throughout the Arab world.
Although hardly reported by anyone, Hamas is currently fighting in Syria on the same side as ISIS and al-Qaeda as well as the Turkish sponsored jihadist group FSA. Hamas wants regime change in Damascus in spite of the fact that Syria is one of the only countries in the entire world to have been a consistent supporter of the wider Palestinian cause.
Hamas clearly puts its own backwards agenda over peace for Palestine. Hamas’ terrorist actions in Syria are proof positive of this.
Below, one can see a picture of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal holding the flag of the Turkish funded, Syrian based terrorist group FSA.
Hamas cannot be taken seriously as a Palestinian group until they renounce terrorism in Syria. What’s the point of severing ties to the Muslim Brotherhood if they still continue to push for the same retrogressive agenda?
Many reports have stated that Israel’s intelligence service Mossad provided aid and covert support to Hamas in order to retard the progress of a secular, free Palestine.
In this sense, one can think of Hamas as a giant political false flag, one that claims to be pro-Palestinian but is in actual fact, just another radical regional group on a mission to destroy secular Arab unity.
If Syria can go to the Astana peace talks and sit with the terrorists who have been destroying the country, then I do grudgingly agree that Hamas, vile though they are, could be part of a meaningful peace process in Palestine.
However, this does not change the fact that Hamas are terrorists whose war against Syria is both disgusting and traitorous to the innocent Palestinians they claim to represent.
All sides should approach this new charter with the utmost caution.