Reports in the Arab media said that Hamas was set to introduce its new constitution this week, one that will recognize a Palestinian state in Yehudah, Shomron and Gaza — but not Israel within the pre-1967 borders. A report by Lebanese media outlet Al-Miadin revealed the contents of the constitution, which states that Hamas’ enemy is “the Zionists,” not “the Jews.”
Specifically, it is the “settlers” that Hamas promises to eliminate from “historic Palestine,” which includes areas inside the green line. A Hamas source quoted on Israel Radio said that the constitution was not really a position paper on Hamas’ relationship to Israel, but rather an “olive branch” to Fatah. Until now, the Ramallah-based terror group, which is led by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, has differed with Hamas on whether or not to declare a provisional Palestinian state in areas of Yehudah and Shomron liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Fatah accepts Israel as a state, but not a Jewish one.
The new Hamas constitution says that the Gaza-based terror group will now accept the Fatah approach, with one exception: It does not recognize Israel in any form. “The movement does not concede any part of occupied Palestine, and does not concede the right of return of Palestinian refugees. This cannot be changed by any authority — Palestinian or international,” the document says, adding that its argument is with “the settlers.”
According to the document, Israeli analysts said, all Israelis are settlers, since they are “occupying historic Palestine,” which includes the pre-1967 border areas. “The new constitution is more of a public relations move than anything else, apparently developed for internal Arab consumption,” one analyst told Israel Radio. “As far as Israelis are concerned, there is nothing new under the sun.”
Hamas has officially denied the reports, saying that it has changed nothing, and that the reports were “full of lies and inaccuracies.”