by Khaled Abu Toameh, GATESTONE INSTITUTE
May 23, 2014 at 5:00 am
The international community does not seem to be listening to what Hamas is saying. Hamas is telling everyone not to believe Abbas when he say that the Palestinian Unity Government will renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.
“The reconciliation will actually consolidate the resistance … from one intifada to another until the liberation of Palestine.” – Khaled Mashaal, leader of the Hamas political bureau.
“Who is this crazy guy who would be able to go to the resistance groups and ask them to hand over their weapons?” – Mahmoud Zahhar, senior representative of Hamas.
Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Khaled Mashaal. (Image source: Abbas — European Union / Mashaal — Wikimedia Commons)Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is busy these days trying to persuade the West to accept his recent unity accord with Hamas.
Abbas is especially interested in winning the backing of the U.S. and EU for the deal with the Islamist movement because his Palestinian Authority is almost entirely dependent on American and European financial aid.
Abbas’s main argument is that the “reconciliation” deal with Hamas, signed last month in the Gaza Strip, would not affect the peace process with Israel.
Abbas was quoted as saying that there is “no contradiction” between the unity deal and the peace talks with Israel and that he remains committed to a “just peace on the basis of a two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy.”
Earlier, Abbas, in the context of his efforts to calm the U.S. Administration and EU governments over the unity accord, declared that the new Palestinian government would recognize Israel and reject violence. His remarks, however, have been strongly denied by Hamas leaders, who say their movement intends to pursue “jihad” against Israel.
Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, announced that his movement would never recognize Israel. “This is a red line that cannot be crossed,” he said.
In other words, Hamas is telling everyone not to believe Abbas when he says that the Palestinian unity government will renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.
This week, further evidence emerged that Hamas has no intention of changing its ideology in the wake of the unity agreement with Abbas’s Fatah faction.
Hamas’s two most senior representatives, Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Zahar, have both made it clear that their movement is planning to continue “resistance” actions against Israel even after the formation of the unity government. They also emphasized that Hamas has no intention of dismantling its military wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, as part of the unity accord.
Asked about the possibility that Hamas would disarm, Zahar said: “Who is this crazy guy who would be able to go to the resistance groups and and ask them to hand over their weapons? Who would dare to do so?”