Hamas Governs and Resists

Replying to a question about recognizing Israel, Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chief of Hamas Political Bureau, asked: which Israel to recognize?” Is it Israel which annexed Jerusalem, or Israel which annexed the Golan Heights? Where are the borders of Israel which are sought to be recognized? Does the West Bank falls within Israel’s borders? And what about the Israeli settlements: do they fall within Israel’s borders? Is the return of refugees acceptable to Israel so that they may go back to their homes?

Abu Marzouk stressed that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian people will recognize this entity [Israel]. In a reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s recognition of Israel, he stated that what happened in the past was a mistake that must be corrected. He called for a review of all the agreements that were reached with Israel following that recognition in view of the fact that Israel has reneged on all its promises since 1993.

To begin with, he added, the recognition process and negotiations are not part of the jurisdiction of the Palestinian authority. They are of the domain of the PLO according to the Oslo accord which was signed by its representatives. The question is placed in the wrong perspective when the Palestinian authority is called upon to honor this recognition.

Abu Marzouk distinguished between the legitimacy of Israel and its de facto existence. Many situations are factual and existing but are not legitimate. Israel does exist but it is an occupying power that has usurped the rights of the Palestinian people. Even if a Palestinian state comes into existence this doesn’t mean that Israel has become legitimate, because there remain rights for the Palestinians that they must restore, notably the right to return to their homes.

Hamas respects international order

With regard to the international accords that the outgoing government has signed, Abu Marzouk emphasized, “all those accords are valid and we are committed to them. But the other parties have to carry out their obligations under those accords. Hamas, he affirmed, respects the international legal order and calls upon the international community to apply their provisions to the Arab-Israeli conflict because Israel is the party that is hostile to that order and refuses to comply with its provisions and resolutions. The latest example is the rulling of the International Court of Justice to the effect that the wall of separation and Zionist settlements are not legitimate.

We will not sell our dignity for western funds

Concerning the threats to cut off international aid and assistance, Abu Marzouk affirmed that the Palestinian people will not sell their dignity and rights in return for a handful of dollars: Palestinian rights are not for sale.

It is known that Western powers have not fulfilled their financial obligations toward the outgoing Palestinian authority. They used them as bargaining chips to obtain further concessions from the Palestinians. Even if no funds are given to our people, Abu Marzouk, continues, we have other options that we can resort to and we will continue to resist the occupation till we fully restore our rights.

Most Arab countries, however, have officially assured Hamas that they will continue to be major supporters of the Palestinian authority. The latest such statements were made by King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia. He stated that Saudi Arabia has been the biggest supporter of the Palestinian authority and that it will continue to be so despite the U.S. embargo.

The Palestinian State

It is not impossible, Abu Marzouk, emphasized, to establish a viable state on the whole territory of Palestine from the river (Jordan) to the (Mediterranean) sea. Not thinking to establish the state in that form represented the first mistake by the PLO when it thought that Palestine could accommodate two states. As to Hamas’s approach, it states that Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians have a historical right in Palestine, and that all palestinians must be able to return to their homeland .

By establishing the Palestinian state, Arabs and Jews will coexist with each other. There is no problem about that, neither from the point of view of our beliefs nor from that of our values, history or civilization, he emphasized

Hamas governs and resists

Before or during the elections, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Abu Marzouk explains, had not taken a decision to participate in the government or to form it, but the Palestinian people’s confidence in Hamas, which was highlighted by the ballot box, has led us to fully shoulder our responsibility. Combining government and resistance, Abu Marzouk stressed, is in the interest of the Palestinian people. A government without full sovereignty, when it writes off the resistance option, does in fact write off the only option that complements the project aimed at attaining the freedom and independence of Palestine