Khaled Mashaal makes it clear that Hamas is determined to continue the path of “resistance” (i.e., terrorism) and that “other statements are political maneuvers.” He reveals that Hamas uses most of its financial resources in the Gaza Strip for military purposes rather than rebuilding.
1. Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas political bureau in Damascus, recently revealed the movement’s political positions. On November 12, meeting with a number of senior participants at a conference of Arab parties in Damascus, he repeatedly stressed that Hamas would continue the path of “resistance” (i.e., terrorism), and noted that most of Hamas’ funds and efforts in the Gaza Strip were invested in military preparations.
2. The main points he made were the following (according to the Filisteen al-’An website):
a) Hamas will never recognize Israel and will not abandon the “resistance:” “We will not recognize Israel, we will not give up the resistance, we cling to every inch of Palestinian soil, other statements are political maneuvers.” (In Arabic, Munawara)
b) Renewal of terrorism in Judea and Samaria: Opting for a new intifada is difficult but “the jihad continues until Judgment Day.” Hamas was forced to stop the resistance [i.e., terrorism] in the West Bank, its [cessation] was not a decision of the movement. It will take time to renew the “resistance” because objectively, the necessary conditions on the ground do not yet exist.
c) Proposing the establishment of a Palestinian state with the borders of 1967: Khaled Mashaal said that his statements in the past, according to which Hamas was prepared to accept a temporary solution of a Palestinian state with the borders of 1967, were meant to create a basis for [political] activity and to eliminate excuses for holding a grudge against Hamas. As far as Hamas is concerned, its political view is that “the Oslo accord is dead” and Palestinians have to strengthen their capabilities [their “cards”], the most potent of which is “the resistance.”
d) Most of Hamas’ efforts in the Gaza Strip are invested in military preparations: “On the surface, [statements in the Gaza Strip] refer to reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah] and rebuilding, however, what is not revealed is that most of Hamas’ funds and efforts are invested in the resistance and military preparations… We are intent on the resistance.”
e) Hamas, which has financial difficulties, needs contributions for the “resistance:” Khaled Mashaal urged the Arab parties to enlist contributions in preparation for the next stage of the “resistance” [i.e., anti-Israeli terrorism], since Hamas is in financial straits. He warned against conditioning financial support for Hamas on the “resistance’s” carrying out terrorist [attacks] because, he said, “the money is invested in preparing for escalating the ‘resistance’.”
3. Khaled Mashaal’s remarks reflect Hamas’ true priorities, the most important of which is rebuilding its military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, which was damaged by Operation Cast Lead, in preparation for the renewal of military-terrorist attacks [“the resistance”] against Israel. Hamas’ priorities are expressed by their investing most of the money flowing into the Gaza Strip for Hamas (including funds from Arab and international agencies) to further military preparations at the expense of the civilian rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, which is proceeding slowly.
4. In addition, the remarks made by Khaled Mashaal directly contradict the “smile campaign” he is conducting for the West. He has repeatedly stressed Hamas’ adherence to its strategy of “resistance” as the main means of “liberating” all Palestinian lands, its total refusal to recognize Israel and its readiness to agree to a “temporary solution” in the form of a Palestinian state with the borders of 1967 as a political maneuver to ease Hamas’ political isolation.
5. Khaled Mashaal’s remarks refute one of the main conclusions of the Goldstone Report: The Report accused Israel of responsibility for the distress of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, while it completely ignored the responsibility borne by Hamas. His remarks show that relieving the Gazans’ distress is not one of Hamas’ main priorities, but rather it invests most of its efforts and resources in military preparations for the next round of anti-Israeli terrorism.