Khaled Mash’al, the political bureau head of the terrorist group Hamas, has little patience for Palestinians who suggest reconciliation with Israelis. This is not at all surprising, because his group, Hamas, is dedicated to the permanent destruction of Israel by violent means. Indeed the Hamas Covenant, written in 1988, declares: “There is no other solution for the Palestinian problem other than jihad [holy war]. All the initiatives and international conferences are a waste of time and a futile game.”
Consider Mash’al’s reaction to a speech delivered at the Aqaba peace summit by former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen, who, calling for an end to the armed Intifada, declared: “We will exert all of our efforts using all our resources to end the militarization of the Intifada, and we will succeed. The armed Intifada must end, and we must use and resort to peaceful means in our quest to end the occupation and the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis. And to establish the Palestinian state . . . our goal is clear, and we will implement it firmly and without compromise: a complete end to violence and terrorism.”
In response to these words, Mash’al condemned what he called “the conspiracy being woven against the Palestinian people,” a conspiracy he believed was being carried out with Mazen’s passive acquiescence. Mash’al accused President Bush of conspiring with Israel to keep the Palestinians eternally subservient. And he denounced Mazen for speaking “[about] the [Palestinian] resistance as terror, and about putting an end to the armed resistance.”
In short, Mash’al characterizes suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians as legitimate forms of “armed resistance.”
In July 2006, Mash’al said: “You [Israelis] will be defeated with God’s help. Victory’s day is approaching with God’s help. (audience replies with “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”) Before Israel dies, it will not escape humiliation and surrender. Before they die, with God’s help they will witness humiliation and surrendering. And America will not be there to help; nor will their generals. The last general is forgotten. God made Sharon disappear and he was departed from them. … We forced a new equation in this battle. The new equation plays to our hands. We will defeat them [the Israelis]. We will defeat them emotionally and mentally before we defeat them in the field of battle. Gaza is the victory’s bed. … Victory in these elections sends a message to Israel and America and all the abusers of this world. With us you will never succeed and you will always lose. If you want war, we are ready for war. … The days of defeat within six days with hours are over. Today you are fighting against the army of Allah. Today you are fighting against people who care for dying for Allah, dying for honor and prestige more than they care for life itself.”
In a speech that aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 7, 2012, Mash’al said:
“First of all, Palestine – from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, from its north to its south – is our land, our right, and our homeland. There will be no relinquishing or forsaking even an inch or small part of it.
“Second, Palestine was, continues to be, and will remain Arab and Islamic. It belongs to the Arab and the Islamic world. Palestine belongs to us and to nobody else. This is the Palestine which we know and in which we believe.
“Third, since Palestine belongs to us, and is the land of Arabism and Islam, we must never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of it. The occupation is illegitimate, and therefore, Israel is illegitimate, and will remain so throughout the passage of time. Palestine belongs to us, not to the Zionists. …
“The liberation of Palestine – all of Palestine – is a duty, a right, a goal, and a purpose. It is the responsibility of the Palestinian people, as well as of the Arab and Islamic nation.
“Fifth, Jihad and armed resistance are the proper and true path to liberation and to the restoration of our rights, along with all other forms of struggle – through politics, through diplomacy, through the masses, and through legal channels. All these forms of struggle, however, are worthless without resistance….
“Politics are born from the womb of resistance. The true statesman is born from the womb of the rifle and the missile…. Oh Palestinian statesmen, oh Arab and Muslim statesmen, learn your lesson from Gaza. Anyone who wishes to take the path of diplomacy must take a missile along with him. He must rely upon the infrastructure of the resistance. Your value, oh statesman, is derived from the value of resistance….
“Jihad and resistance are the path. This is not mere rhetoric. Events have shown us that Jihad and resistance are the most advantageous and reliable option…. [H]istory and the laws of Allah tell us that victory and liberation cannot be achieved without resistance, battle, and sacrifice….
“Jerusalem is our soul, our history, our collective memory, our past, our present, and our future. It is our eternal capital, to which we hold fast and which we will liberate, inch by inch, neighborhood by neighborhood, stone by stone, every place sacred to Islam, and every place sacred to Christianity. Israel has no right to Jerusalem….
“The Right of Return means the return of all the refugees, the displaced, and the exiled to the land of Palestine – to its cities and its villages, to the neighborhoods of Gaza, the West Bank, and within the 1948 borders. We own every inch of our land. Our fathers and our forefathers were born there. We lived there. It retains our memory and our history. The Right of Return is sacred to us, and it cannot be depreciated….
“Hamas has a clear-cut principle: no to resettlement of refugees and no to an alternative homeland. There is no substitute for Palestine. … The unity of Palestinian land refers to Gaza, the West Bank, and the land within the 1948 borders. That is the land of Palestine – it is all Palestine, every part of it is Palestine. No part of it will be separated from the other parts. Anyone who believes that Gaza can be kept far from the West Bank is delusional. Gaza, the West Bank, and the land within the 1948 borders are all beloved parts of the great Palestinian homeland.”1