A plurality of Palestinian Arabs believe Hamas’ desired method of ending the so-called “occupation” and establishing a Palestinian state is the correct way forward, according to a survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR).
Speaking at a Damascus mosque in 2006, overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashal revealed precisely how his group sees the future unfolding: “Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded.”
Indeed, item #3 of the Hamas Charter states that “there is only one solution to resolve the conflict and that is jihad.” Item #1 of that same charter acknowledges that “Israel will continue to exist” … wait for it … “until Islam will obliterate it.”
Now, Hamas recently joined a unity government, and many, like US Secretary of State John Kerry, seem to think that will bring the terror group in line with previous agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Except that it won’t. As Gaza-based Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared just last week: “Hamas will continue the armed resistance, whether or not we are in power.”
And 42 percent of Palestinian respondents to the recent PCPSR have no problem with that, while only 39 percent think that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ notion of non-violence and negotiations is preferable.
Unsurprisingly, a mere 19 percent of Palestinian respondents believe that independent armed groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad need to be disarmed now that a unity government has formed.
And 66 percent of Palestinians say Hamas should retain security control over the Gaza Strip, even though under the group’s stewardship Gaza continues to be used to launch rocket attacks against southern Israel.