Israeli media is reporting a seemingly dramatic development in the relationship between Hamas and Israel, quoting a senior Hamas official who says that that Islam does prohibit negotiations with Israel. According to the Times of Israel report:
September 11, 2014 In a dramatic political about-face, a senior Hamas official said that his movement may seek to negotiate with Israel, claiming that Islamic faith does not prohibit such contacts.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Palestinian Al-Quds TV on Wednesday that Hamas may be forced to negotiate with Israel, since the vast majority of Gaza Strip residents demand it.
‘From the point of view of Sharia (Islamic law), nothing prevents negotiations with the occupation. Just as you negotiate with it using weapons, you can negotiate using words,’ Abu Marzouk said. ‘I believe that if things continue as they are now, Hamas may not have a choice. I say this in all honesty, [negotiations]have become a quasi-popular demand at the moment among all people in the Gaza Strip. Hamas may find itself forced to adopt this policy.’
Abu Marzouk noticeably struggled to articulate his movement’s new position, a reversal of earlier stances which forbade direct contact with Jerusalem.
Read the rest here
In April 2012, the GMBDW reported on comments by Mr Marzouk in which he outlined his view of how Hamas will view any potential agreement with Israel:
…an agreement between Israel and the P.A. — even one ratified by a referendum of all Palestinians — as a hudna, or cease-fire, rather than as a peace treaty. In power, he said, Hamas would feel free to shift away from those provisions of the agreement that define it as a peace treaty and move instead toward a relationship of armed truce. ‘We will not recognize Israel as a state,’ he said emphatically. ‘It will be like the relationship between Lebanon and Israel or Syria and Israel
Only time will tell if Mr. Marzouk’s current statements reflect an actual change in Hamas policy or whether they are in fact some kind of trial balloon.
Of historical interest is a 2007 court filing by US federal prosecutors that detailed the role of Mousa Abu Marzook as a former leader of the US Muslim Brotherhood and the US Palestine Committee. According to the document:
By the outbreak of the First Intifada, the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States was significant and well organized. In 1987, the governing body of the International Muslim Brotherhood decided to focus its mission on the Palestinian issue, and directed that Palestine Committees be formed in countries throughout the world. In the United States, the Palestine Committee was comprised of active Muslim Brotherhood members of Palestinian origin. The leader of the Palestinian Committee in the United States at that time was unindicted co-conspirator Mousa Abu Marzook. Marzook is now – and has been since 1995 – a Specially Designated Terrorist and Hamas leader. In fact, in the early 1990s, Marzook left his post as a leader of the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Committee to take over as Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief, the organization’s highest official position.
The creation and growth of the Palestine Committee in the United States are evidenced in part by documents that the government seized in 2004 from the Virginia home of unindicted co-conspirator and Palestinian Committee member Ismail Elbarasse. As shown by those documents and other evidence, the Muslim Brotherhood directed its Palestinian Committees throughout the world, including the United States, to carry out the mandate of assisting Sheik Yassin and his newly-formed Hamas Movement. In accordance with that mandate, the Palestinian Committee in the United States, which included the defendants Elashi, Baker and El-Mezain, oversaw a number of sub- organizations charged with varying missions calculated to comprehensively address Hamas’ needs. These organizations included the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) (“think tank”), the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) (propaganda and information) and the Occupied Land Fund (OLF) (money), later to become the defendant HLF. The defendant Shukri Abu Baker was in charge of the HLF and, along with the defendants El-Mezain and Elashi, set out to establish what would become the highest grossing Islamic charity in the United States.
It should be noted that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) grew directly out of the IAP and Hamas infrastructure in the US.