One of Hamas’s most senior officials said on Wednesday that 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 said the political policy document announced on May 1 did not contradict its founding covenant, published in 1988.
The new 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. “The charter is the core of [Hamas’s] position and the mechanism of this position is the document.”
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.
“We have reaffirmed the unchanging constant principles that we do not recognize Israel; we do not recognize the land occupied in 1948 as belonging to Israel and we do not recognize that the people who came here [Jews] own this land,” Zahar added.