January 28, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Much speculation is taking place regarding the future direction of Hamas now that Arafat's moribund Fatah has been defeated. The immediate result of course is the thoroughly predictable spectacle of running street battles and burning cars as the two factions jockey for position.
However the Hamas terrorists make little pretense as to the plans and goals of the organization.
On one section of the English Hamas website Hamas: no compromising of Palestinian legal rights there can be little doubt as to what the intentions of Dr. Hamhoumd al-Zahar and his cohorts are:
"Zahhar's affirmation came during the ninth Al-Quds artistic festival, which was organized by the Islamic University students.
"The Zionist occupation exists on our lands due to the existing unbalanced scale of material force; yet, the occupation will vanish when the scale is modified", he said, adding, "Hamas will, after winning the election, prioritize the sectors of health, education, industry, and agriculture among other sectors to make them rely on local resources and energies rather than depending on others".
The future of Al-Qassam Brigades
He stressed, "Hamas, while under the PLC dome, will propagate the culture of resistance among the Palestinian people in addition to the love of Jihad. The Qassam Brigades, armed wing of Hamas, and its weapons will stay solid and solely pointed at the Israeli enemy for as long as the occupation on our land lasts".
"The armed wing will increase in quality and quantity, and its weapons will be effectively upgraded to drive the occupation out of our Palestinian lands.
"We are proud to be the servants of the Palestinian people, and we shall extend a helping hand to families of our martyrs, wounded, and jailed heroes. And we will use all means in our possession to liberate our prisoners, including kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and officers", he underscored."
From and article in the Independent UK, by Donald Macintyre archived here - Guns Or Politics? - the following shows that Hamas' adoption of "moderation" from the limited cease-fire through the election was contrived. It has been a policy designed to bring about an electoral victory and now that it has been realized jihad will once again assume primacy.
"Skillfully Hamas, having largely adhered to the truce it made last year with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, has given little away on post-election plans. But Abbas has always believed that Hamas's assumption of influence will lead it to abandon weapons against Israel and has warned it will not join any coalition with Fatah unless it does so. But Hamas has so far made it clear it has no intention of recognizing Israel, as the PLO eventually did under Yasser Arafat.
Mohammed Abu Teir, Hamas's number two candidate, declined to comment on talks though he acknowledged that Hamas councils like Qalqilya's had had "no problem" discussing "technical matters" with Israel. But his message to Israel had been: "You have negotiated with the PLO for 30 years - and what you have given to the PLO?"
On Hamas's notable decision not to include its long-held commitment to the destruction of Israel in its election manifesto, Sheikh Abu Teir said guardedly: "We know how to conduct politics - we are passing through a new stage of politics and we are part of it. We raise the appropriate slogans and there is no need to raise an inappropriate slogan [destroying Israel]. We have a program that deals with internal issues."
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New York Times News Service
January 29, 2006
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Young fighters and police affiliated with the defeated Fatah movement staged angry protests Saturday, firing rifles into the air outside the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah and marching on the parliament buildings in Gaza and the West Bank.
Hundreds of Fatah members marched outside the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, with some firing automatic rifles skyward. They demanded the resignation of Fatah's Central Committee and rejected any alliance with Hamas in the new government.
"No partnership with Hamas," they chanted.
Jibril Rajoub, a security adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas though he is also a leader of the younger Fatah generation, told the crowd there would be no such coalition.
"We are not going to be in partnership with Hamas. Let them rule alone," Rajoub said. "Let our people see if Hamas can manage."
Rajoub lost in his bid for a parliamentary seat in the West Bank town of Hebron.
At the parliament in Ramallah, Fatah gunmen climbed to the top of the building, where they fired their guns and placed a poster of the late Yasser Arafat, who founded Fatah.
In Gaza City, where the Palestinians also have a parliament building, dozens of police entered the gated compound and demanded the prosecution of Hamas members suspected of killing a police officer. Most members of the security forces are considered to be supporters of Fatah, which has run the Palestinian Authority since it was established in 1994.
Fatah advocates also held protest marches in other West Bank towns, including Nablus and Bethlehem.
Elsewhere, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal suggested that Hamas could create a Palestinian army that would include its militant wing, The Associated Press reported.
Speaking from his base in Damascus, Syria, Mashaal insisted his group would not disarm and said Hamas' military wing, estimated at nearly 5,000 gunmen in Gaza alone, could be merged into a Palestinian army.
"We are ready to unify the weapons of Palestinian factions, with Palestinian consensus, and form an army like any independent state," he said.
Israeli officials condemned the plan.
"If Hamas wants to be considered a partner in peace, it's very clear what it has to do. It has to renounce terrorism, disarm, accept Israel's right to exist and support political solutions to issues rather than pursuing violent jihad," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.