Hamas officials, headed by Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mash’al, are contending that Hamas’ victory in Gaza has paved the way to Jaffa and Haifa, and are calling on the Palestinian Authority to join the jihad and the resistance.
Following are excerpts from statements by Hamas leaders:
Mash’al: “The Resistance Entered Every Home, and Has Become an Ideal Among the Arab Nation and Worldwide”
“What happened in Gaza was the first real serious war [fought by] our people on their territory, and therefore it constitutes a turning point in the war with the Zionist enemy. The occupation has failed both politically and in the [battle]field, in that it was compelled, after three weeks, to stop the fighting unilaterally, with no agreement, binding conditions, or stipulations restricting the resistance.
“Two weeks prior to the ceasefire, the Zionist entity, through mediators, attempted to impose on us conditions of surrender, [i.e.] stopping the resistance in Gaza by [declaring] a long-term tahdia [calm] and disarming it.
“However, we staunchly held our ground both in the [battle]field and in the political arena. We rejected these conditions, and they were forced to stop their aggression, [admit] defeat, and withdraw unconditionally. We were adamant in our rejection [of these conditions], since we put our trust in our people’s choices and rights…
“The enemy leaders wanted to achieve several objectives: to break the resistance, defeat it, and expel it from Gaza; [and] to inculcate our nation with defeatism, end Hamas’s rule, and stop the firing of missiles. What was the outcome? The resistance showed fortitude and became an element equal to [the Israeli army], despite the difference in resources. The firing of missiles continued; our people rallied around the resistance and stood fast. Hamas, which [the Israelis] had set out to destroy, gained strength; the resistance has entered every home and has became an ideal among the Arab nation and worldwide.”
“We Want an Intra-Palestinian Dialogue… But the Residents of the West Bank Must Rise Up and Resist… As Happened In Gaza”
Mash’al continued: “We were glad when the intra-Arab conciliation began, [although] it has not been achieved; [now] we seek an [intra-]Palestinian conciliation. However, having learned a lesson in Gaza, we want a conciliation based on the resistance and the rights, rather than on pointless negotiations, agreements, and conditions [set by] the Quartet. We want an intra-Palestinian dialogue – but in order to provide it with the proper basis, the residents of the West Bank must rise up and resist until victory, as happened in Gaza.
“This, however, will be possible only if the resistance fighters [i.e. Hamas members imprisoned by the PA in the West Bank] are set free and if the weapons of the resistance are regarded as legitimate and honored…
“As we won the Gaza war, so we will win a war aimed at lifting the siege and opening the crossings, as a preliminary to the liberation of the country, the return [of the refugees], the liberation of Jerusalem, and extricating ourselves from the occupation.”(1)
Palestinian Factions “Creating New Supreme National Authority… The PLO No Longer Constitutes a Supreme Authority of the Palestinians”
At a rally marking the “Gaza victory” in Qatar, Mash’al said that the Palestinian factions were initiating a “surprising” move and were acting to “create a new supreme national authority, that will represent the Palestinians in [Palestine] and outside it, and will include all the national Palestinian forces and all the streams in the Palestinian people… In its present state, the PLO no longer constitutes a supreme authority of the Palestinians; instead, it has turned into an administration aimed at dividing the Palestinian home.”(2)
Hamas Spokesman to PA: “Join What Your People Has Chosen – Jihad and Resistance”
At the rally, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on the PA: “Stand aside and catch your breath. You are exhausted and must rest, so that the people can rest [as well]. The equations have changed; victories have been achieved; all bets have failed. Enough! Time is not on your side, and the clock cannot be turned back. Join what your people has chosen – jihad and resistance.”(3)
“The Gaza Victory Has Paved the Way to Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, the Negev, and the West Bank… We Will Continue Fighting Until the Occupation is Defeated on Palestinian Soil”
Senior Hamas official Isma’il Radhwan stated at the rally: “The Gaza victory has paved the way to Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, the Negev, and the West Bank. Gaza is not our [only] enterprise; [our national enterprise includes] Gaza and Palestine. We will continue fighting until the occupation is defeated on Palestinian soil.”(4)
Mash’al to Europe: “You Should Be Ashamed… For Not Making It Possible For Us to Obtain Weapons… The Time Has Come For Reciprocal Relations With Hamas”
At the Qatar rally, Mash’al addressed Europe, saying: “You should be ashamed. It is a crime that you are cannot stop the aggression against us, and that you are not making it possible for us [to obtain] the weapons of the resistance. It will be a mark of disgrace on the forehead of Europe and the rest of the Western entities, if this policy continues…
“The time has come for reciprocal relations with Hamas, which has been legitimized both by the struggle and by the ballot box…(5)
Mash’al then addressed U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, warning him against disregarding the resistance, and saying, “All political, security, and military efforts will fail if they are based on disregarding the resistance.”(6)
(1) www.palestine-info.info, January 21, 2009.
(2) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 21, 2009.
(3) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 21, 2009.
(4) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 21, 2009.
(5) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 21, 2009.
(6) Al-Sharq (Qatar), January 29, 2009.