Omri Ceren In February, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh reiterated that Hamas would never give uptrying to militarily destroyIsrael, declaring while in Tehran that the “gun is our only response to the Zionist regime.” A month later, senior Gaza-based Hamas leader Mahmud Zahar, also visiting Tehran,made functionally the same statement.He also announced that the “principles and strategy of the Palestinian Islamic resistance will not change.”
Soon afterward, the two war advocates squared off in a secret election for placement on, and leadership of, Hamas’s 15-member Gaza politburo. Haniyeh rose above Zahar and is now the institution’s head.
Meanwhile, elections for Hamas’s overall central committee – as opposed to its Gaza politburo – are in the process of wrapping up. Official results should be up in the next 10 days, and in the meantime, somewhat conflicting rumors have emerged. Those reports are about the margins however, and it’s probably safe to assume that paid Iranian stoogesKhaled Meshaal and Mussa Abu Marzuk are more or less leading the pack. Meshaal enjoys what counts as an incumbency advantage in that world, and Marzuk just declaredunending war against Israel.
No one in charge of Hamas at any level, in other words, is pushing anything but a permanent campaign of violence against the Jewish State. Just this morning Hamas spokesman Hammad al-Ruqab called on Palestinians to kidnap Israeli soldiers, which is a call for Palestinians to start another war.
Hamas has been holding secret political talks with five EU member states in recent months, a senior official in the Islamic terrorist group told the Associated Press on Wednesday. If confirmed, such talks would be a sign that the isolation of the Gaza-based movement is easing in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings that have brought Islamists to power in parts of the Middle East… the West is reassessing its Middle East policy following the uprisings of the past year that toppled several pro-Western regimes in the region and have enabled the rise of the Hamas parent movement, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood. It seems possible that some EU member states are now softening their approach toward Hamas.
Israeli peace activists – citing a slack-jawed report on how Hamas is taking a temporary break from firing rockets at Israeli schoolchildren – are also contrasting the group positively with the Israeli government. Because that’s the direction toward which the evidence converges: Hamas’s peaceful intentions.