History of the Hamas movement





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Uploaded on Dec 31, 2008

History of the Hamas movement

The possibility of a ceasefire with Israel

Hamas omitted its call for the destruction of Israel from its election manifesto, calling instead for "the establishment of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem."[33] On 8 February 2006, Hamas head Khaled Mashal speaking in Cairo had clarified that "Anyone who thinks Hamas will change is wrong", stating that while Hamas is willing for a ceasefire with Israel, its long term goal remains: Israel must withdraw from all land occupied in 1967.[23]

On 13 February 2006, in an interview in Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta,[34] Mashal declared that Hamas would stop armed struggle against Israel if it recognized the 1967 borders, withdrew itself from all Palestinian occupied territories (including the West Bank and East Jerusalem) and recognized Palestinian rights that would include the "right of return". He reaffirmed this stance in a 5 March 2008 interview with Al Jazeera English,[60] citing Hamas's signing of the 2005 Cairo Declaration and the National Reconciliation Document, and denied any rejectionist stance. Critics of this offer[who?] suggest that Israel would never accept the Palestinian refugees right of return, as it would create a demographic majority of Muslims in Israel, and thus cancel its Jewish nature. Hamas does not feel bound by the "Road Map to Peace" promoted by the Diplomatic Quartet, since in its view Israel is not abiding by it.[36] Hamas rejects the establishment of a "Palestinian entity [...] with no true sovereignty, whose principal duty is to maintain Israel's security."[60]

After coming to power, some Hamas leaders have announced that Hamas was giving up suicide attacks and "offered a 10-year truce [with Israel] in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem."[61][62][63] Hamas also declared a unilateral ceasefire with Israel which, after Israeli air strikes in response to Hamas smuggling weapons into Gaza, was formally renounced.[64]

According to Steven Erlanger of the New York Times, Hamas excludes the possibility of long-term reconciliation with Israel. "Since the Prophet Muhammad made a temporary hudna, or truce, with the Jews about 1,400 years ago, Hamas allows the idea. But no one in Hamas says he would make a peace treaty with Israel or permanently give up any part of Palestine.".[65] Mkhaimer Abusada, a political scientist at Al Azhar University explains that They (Hamas) talk of hudna, not of peace or reconciliation with Israel. They believe over time they will be strong enough to liberate all historic Palestine.[65]

On 21 April 2008, former U.S. President and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter met with Hamas Leader Khaled Meshal and reached an agreement that Hamas will respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas seized by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967, provided this be ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Carter had made several other requests, but these were turned down. Hamas later announced publicly an offer for a 10 year hudna with Israel, should they decide to return to their 1967 borders and allow the return of all Palestinian refugees. Several nations originally rejected the plan, but Israel is yet to respond

Militancy and political violence

[edit] Attacks on civilians

Hamas officials have stated several times that they are willing to stop attacks on Israeli civilian targets if Israel stops attacking Palestinian civilian targets in return.[115] In May 2003, Abdel Aziz Rantisi has said, "The Hamas movement is prepared to stop terror against Israeli civilians if Israel stops killing Palestinian civilians ... We have told (Palestinian Authority Prime Minister) Abu Mazen in our meetings that there is an opportunity to stop targeting Israeli civilians if the Israelis stop assassinations and raids and stop brutalizing Palestinian civilians."[116]

Hamas has been responsible for launching suicide attacks against Israel; the group sees these attacks as a legitimate aspect of its asymmetric warfare against Israel. Hamas' first use of suicide bombing occurred on April 16, 1993 when a suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden van detonated between two buses parked at a restaurant. It was Hamas' 19th known attack since 1989 (the others included shootings, kidnappings and knife attacks).[citation needed]

Hamas continued to launch suicide attacks during the Oslo Accords period (see List of Hamas suicide attacks).


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