The goals of the Hamas leader in Gaza, 2012:
No Israel. No compromise. No end to “armed resistance”

Published: 22 February 2012
Briefing Number 307

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Summary: This Briefing reproduces part of a speech delivered by Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, and Palestinian Prime Minister there.  Haniyeh delivered the speech at a mass rally in Gaza city on 14 December 2011, to mark the 24th anniversary of the creation of Hamas.  His speech reinforces three points.  Firstly, Hamas will definitely not recognise Israel.  Secondly, Hamas seek “all” of Palestine.  And thirdly, Hamas will not end terrorism (referred to as ‘armed resistance’).

Key messages:  In one sense Hamas is changing.  The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has forced that change.  Hamas cannot operate in Syria because of the turmoil there.  And they are getting closer to the Egyptians following the Islamist rise to power there. 

So, Hamas are changing.  But they are not moderating.  Hamas are just realigning their extremism.

Ismail Haniyeh’s speech of December 2011 is a declaration of permanent war with Israel:  the latest of many from the Hamas leadership, going back many many years, and demonstrating that the Hamas Charter is not “mere paper”.

Haniyeh’s speech demonstrates how extreme and uncompromising Hamas remain.  And at the end of the day, it is the ideologies and actions of Hamas leaders in Gaza which matter most.....

Background to the Ismail Haniyeh speech......

Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, and leader of Hamas there, addressed a mass rally in Gaza City on 14 December 2011 to mark the 24th anniversary of the founding of the organisation.  The speech was broadcast on Hamas Al Aqsa TV on the same day.  A translation was produced by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), and has been made available on the PMW website (see  Here is part of what Haniyeh said:
“We say today, so it cannot be explained otherwise, that the armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the only strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel] from the blessed land of Palestine.  The Hamas movement will lead intifada after intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing.  Allah Ahkbar and praise Allah.   We say with transparency and in a clear manner, that Palestinian reconciliation – and all sides know this – cannot come at the expense of our principles, at the expense of our resistance.   These principles are absolute and cannot be disputed: Palestine – all of Palestine – is from the sea to the river.  We won’t relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine.  The involvement of Hamas at any stage with the interim objective of liberation of [only] Gaza, or Jerusalem, does not replace our strategic view concerning Palestine and the land of Palestine......”    

Some related Beyond Images Briefings

Briefing 295 – 2 September 2011
Hamas leaders’ extremism, in 2011

Briefing 264 – 23 July 2010
Hamas now accepts Israel....’. Really? Mahmoud al-Zahar exposes the doublespeak

Briefing 186 – 12 November 2006
“We want all of Palestine”: Hamas goals remain unchanged

Briefing 169 – 27 March 2006
“Armed resistance”? Hamas bombings of Israeli civilians

Briefing 165 – 15 January 2006
The Hamas Charter: extracts