Hamas reaffirmed its commitment to violence as a means to statehood on Saturday, as the political head of the movement, Khaled Meshaal, told a rally that they would not surrender even one inch of ‘Palestine.’ Meshaal referenced all of the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, removing all acceptance of the State of Israel.
Speaking at a rally commemorating the 25th anniversary of Hamas, Meshaal was quoted by the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency as saying, “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land. We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.”
Hamas has long been excluded from the peace process, with the US and others demanding that they first denounce violence and express a willingness to recognize Israel. Meshaal refused both points yet again on Saturday.
Meshaal went so far as to say that violence is the “right way” to take the land from Israel. The Hamas military wing website quoted him as saying on Saturday, “The armed resistance is the real and the right way to liberate the land and restore the rights.” The terrorist group recently finished fighting an escalated conflict with Israel in which more than 1,500 rockets were launched at Israel.
Saying there Israel did not have any legitimacy in “Palestine,” the terror leader said that “the liberation of all Palestine is a duty, a right and a goal. It is the responsibility of all the people as well as the Arab and Islamic nation.”
Meshaal on Friday, after arriving in Gaza, referenced Israeli locations in saying that “the Palestinians will liberate in Yaffa, Safad, Al-Joura, Hamama, Yibna Silwad… and every Palestinian will return to his town.” Examples of Israeli locations include Yaffa, a small historical town next to Tel Aviv, and Safad, which refers to the Israeli town of Safed in northern Israel.
Israel Slams Abbas’ Silence
While Hamas was as belligerent as ever, Israel singled out the rival Palestinian leadership headed by Mahmoud Abbas as failing to respond to Hamas’ hate speech. “We were re-exposed to our enemies’ true face,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted by his office as saying on Sunday. “They have no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state…
“It is interesting that Abu Mazen has issued no condemnation, not of the remarks about the destruction of Israel, just as previously he did not condemn the missiles that were fired at Israel. To my regret, he strives for unity with the same Hamas that is supported by Iran.”
Netanyahu, an opponent of the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, warned against a similar surrender of territory in Judea and Samaria, the Biblical name for the West Bank. “We want a true peace with our neighbors. But we will not close our eyes and stick our heads in the sand. We are not prepared to repeat the same mistake of a unilateral withdrawal and withdrawals that, in effect, led Hamas to take control of Gaza,” he said.
“I have always been astonished at the delusions of others who are prepared to continue this process and call it peace. You would hand over more territory, in this case in Judea and Samaria that controls Israel’s cities, to the same people and the result, of course, will be a Gaza on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Hadera and Kfar Saba.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 9, 2012)