Hamas Official Offers Temporary Disarmament for Two-State Deal and Refugee Return

By Yoni Weiss

Khalil al-Hayya, a Hamas official, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

In a surprising statement to the Associated Press on Wednesday, Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya suggested that the Hamas would consider disbanding its military wing if a Palestinian state were established along pre-1967 borders. Al-Hayya emphasized that this move would only occur if the state encompassed the PA and Gaza Strip and included the return of Palestinian refugees.

Al-Hayya compared this hypothetical scenario to other liberation movements, where armed forces transitioned into political entities and national armies upon achieving independence. However, he did not clarify whether this stance signaled an end to the war against Israel or merely served as an interim measure toward Hamas’s ultimate goal of Israel’s destruction.

The issue of Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” remains a contentious point, with Israel rejecting the demand, viewing it as a threat to its status as a Jewish-majority state.

In a separate interview with Asharq News, al-Hayya emphasized Hamas’s insistence on the Palestinians’ historical claim to all Palestinian lands, indicating that any acceptance of a two-state solution would be temporary. This stance aligns with Hamas’s broader objective of eradicating Israel, as outlined in its 2017 charter.

Despite the destruction caused by recent hostilities, including the Oct. 7 attacks, al-Hayya expressed Hamas’s lack of regret, reaffirming the organization’s intent to disrupt regional stability and overthrow existing conditions.

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