Reuters is reporting that a top Hamas official has put to rest the notion that the new document issued recently by Hamas is a replacement for its original charter calling for the destruction of Israel. According to the report:
May 10, 2107 GAZA One of Hamas’s most senior officials said on Wednesday a document published by the Islamist Palestinian group last week was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel’s destruction.
Speaking in Gaza City, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a regular critic of Israel, said the political policy document announced in Qatar on May 1 by Hamas’s outgoing chief Khaled Meshaal did not contradict its founding covenant, published in 1988.
Trailed for weeks by Hamas officials, the document appeared to be an attempt to soften the group’s language toward Israel. But it still called for ‘the liberation of all of historical Palestine’, said armed resistance was a means to achieve that goal, and did not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
‘The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine,’ Zahar said on Wednesday. ‘The charter is the core of (Hamas’s) position and the mechanism of this position is the document.’
Many Western countries classify Hamas as a terrorist group over its failure to renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements.
In its new document, Hamas said it agrees to a transitional Palestinian state within frontiers pre-dating the 1967 Middle East war but continues to oppose recognizing Israel’s right to exist and backs an armed struggle.
Read the rest here.
Numerous mainstream media reports described the document in language such as “Hamas Presents New Charter Accepting A Palestine Based On 1967 Borders.” However, the document clearly states that the goal of Hamas is to “to liberate Palestine “ and that Palestine “extends from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west and from Ras Al-Naqurah in the north to Umm Al-Rashrash in the south.”