Hamas supporters in Gaza bring children into the fighting. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Hamas Gaza child gun

“We won’t give up on one inch of the land of Palestine,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

By Bassam Tawil, The Gatestone Institute 

A Palestinian terror group says that its engineers have developed “accurate and destructive” missiles that can reach the “occupied” cities of Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Jerusalem. Abu Hamza, spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad organization in the Gaza Strip, threatened that his group’s “rocket unit” would turn Israeli cities into “hell.”

“There is no place for the Zionist enemy on the land of Palestine,” Abu Hamza said. “Either they leave this blessed land, or they will be dealt one painful strike after the other.”

Islamic Jihad is the second-largest Palestinian terror group in the Gaza Strip, after Hamas. Neither group recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Both say they are committed to the “armed struggle until the liberation of all Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.”

The leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad see Israel as one big settlement to be uprooted from the Middle East.

For them, there is no difference between a Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria and any other city inside Israel. As far as they are concerned, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Haifa, and Nazareth are all “occupied” cities. Palestinian weather forecast bulletins often publish names of cities inside Israel on a map that does not mention the word Israel.

The Palestinian leaders say that the conflict with Israel will end only when Israel is annihilated.

“We won’t give up on one inch of the land of Palestine,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. “We will continue to fight until all the refugees return to their homes” – meaning areas in Israel within the “green line” 1949 armistice borders.

In 2017, Hamas published a document of “General Principles and Policies,” in which it claimed that it was ready to accept a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines (Judea and Samaria, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem) – but without Hamas recognizing Israel’s right to exist or Hamas “giving up all of Palestine.”

In other words, Hamas is saying that it would not oppose the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem; it would use these territories as a launching pad to “liberate the rest of Palestine.”

The Hamas document clearly states that “no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances, and the pressures, and no matter how long the occupation lasts.” It affirms that Hamas “rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” The document also states that Hamas will never recognize the “Zionist entity” or relinquish any Palestinian rights.

Although Hamas says in the document that it is ready, for now, to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel, it nevertheless considers “Palestine, which 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 [Eilat] in the south, an integral territorial unit. It is the land and the home of the Palestinian people.”

The Hamas document has been misinterpreted by some Westerners as a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of the terrorist group. Reuters, for example, claimed in a May 1, 2017 dispatch that Hamas has “dropped its long-standing call for Israel’s destruction.”

This claim is completely false. Reuters, like several other Western media outlets, ignored those parts of the Hamas document that mention the need to eliminate Israel. Here are other parts of the document that reveal Hamas’s true intentions:

“The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas is a Palestinian national liberation resistance movement. Its goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Palestine is an Arab Islamic land. It is a blessed sacred land that has a special place in the heart of every Arab and every Muslim. There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Whatever has befallen the land of Palestine in terms of occupation, settlement building, Judaization, or changes to its features, or falsification of facts is illegitimate. Rights never lapse.”

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