May 9, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1158

Hamas Deputy Marzouk: Non-Recognition of Israel A Hamas Founding Principle

May 9, 2006
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 1158

In an interview posted April 24, 2006 on the Muslim Brotherhood's English-language website ( ), Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, reiterates Hamas's commitment to the resistance, and states that recognizing Israel is not on the movement's agenda.

The following are excerpts from the interview. [1]

We Reject the Impractical Peace Initiatives

Ikhwanweb: "There are statements attributed to Mr. Khaled Mesha’al indicating that Hamas will recognize Israel if it withdraws to the 1967 borders. Your comments?"

Abu Marzouk: "One of Hamas’s founding principals is that it does not recognize Israel. We [participated in] the elections and the people voted for us based on this platform. Therefore, the question of recognizing Israel is definitely not on the table unless it withdraws from ALL the Palestinian lands, not only to the 1967 borders. How can we be expected to recognize an occupying entity when millions of our people are refugees, and thousands of others are prisoners!? Why must we recognize them when they do not recognize us as a sovereign state with full independence?"

Ikhwanweb: "Is there any pressure on Hamas by Arab countries, and especially Egypt, to recognize Israel?"

Abu Marzouk: "Frankly, they have not asked us to do so. However, they have asked us to recognize the Arab peace initiatives, which include recognition of Israel. We, in Hamas, have rejected these impractical initiatives, and even Israel itself has done the same. Hamas sees these pressures as aiming to lower the upper limit of the Palestinian demands to the lowest possible level."

We Will Coordinate With All Factions to Rally the Palestinian People Around the Resistance as a Strategic Option

Ikhwanweb: "...[Is] Hamas declaring a truce [with Israel]?"

Abu Marzouk: "That is not necessarily true... The political situation requires certain maneuvers at some levels. The resistance is Hamas’s agenda, and we will coordinate in the upcoming period with all the factions in order to rally the Palestinian people around the resistance as a strategic option. We will work to set forth an integrated agenda for resistance, which will include [action against] the settlements and the segregation wall in order to establish a sovereign and viable Palestinian state."

Ikhwanweb: "With the Israelis [making] almost daily raids on the Palestinians, and most of the Palestinian factions responding, the Qassam Brigades (Hamas's Military arm) have been missing in action. What happened?"

Abu Marzouk: "The Qassam Brigades are present, and its forces are being developed in a [satisfactory manner]. However, the current political conditions require a specific environment, and our brothers in the Qassam Brigades are bound by the same policy and act [according to] the Hamas platform."

Ikhwanweb: "What are the boundaries that govern the relationship between Hamas and the different Palestinian factions?"

Abu Marzouk: "There is no doubt [that] Hamas has good relations with the rest of the Palestinian factions. There is always room for all of us in our big 'Palestinian [Home].' The Hamas government will not allow a rift among Palestinians, and its policy is to get our internal affairs in order and unite all the Palestinian factions within the framework of a united Palestinian people..."

The Current Policy of the Europeans Towards the Palestinian Government Will Eventually Change

Ikhwanweb: "Some media reports have it that the Norwegian government will welcome a visit from a Hamas delegate. Do you consider this decision as the beginning of European openness toward the Hamas government?"

Abu Marzouk: "We are assured that the current policy of the European governments towards the Palestinian government will eventually change, because it is simply wrong and irrational. It is unreasonable to punish the Palestinian people for their democratic choice. We should not forget that the E.U. has always played a major role in the Palestinian Issue, so it is not uncommon for them to fulfill their human responsibilities toward the Palestinian people. Meanwhile, we value and appreciate the Russian government’s role and the position of the new Italian Prime Minister. Therefore, the welcoming [attitude] of the Norwegian government is an indication that the siege on the Palestinian people has begun to [let up]."

Ikhwanweb: "What is your assessment of the latest tour by Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. [Mahmoud] Al-Zahhar, after witnessing the discouraging positions taken by some Arab countries like Egypt and Jordan?"

Abu Marzouk: "I believe that this question is better answered by Dr. Al-Zahhar himself. He informed us that, overall, his tour was very successful, thank God. He was received very well in all the countries he visited, and it was an encouraging tour. Rest assured that there is an [entire] (Muslim and Arab) nation supporting the Palestinian people and rallying behind its elected government."

The Hamas Government Will Shift the Palestine Issue From the International Framework to a Framework of National Resistance

Ikhwanweb: "And your comments on the Jordanian government’s attitude?"

Abu Marzouk: "We regret the statements made by the Jordanian government against Hamas. However, what was said about the [arrest] of Hamas [members] in Jordan is unfounded. It is Hamas policy NOT to [take] its armed struggle beyond the occupied Palestinian territories. [The fact is] that the Jordanian government initially wanted to postpone Dr. Al-Zahhar’s visit, but he refused."

Ikhwanweb: "What does the future hold for Hamas, [with] the mounting international pressure?"

Abu Marzouk: "I believe that the formation of a Hamas government is, in itself, a major turning point in the history of the Palestinian cause. The Hamas government will help to transition the Issue of Palestine from its international framework to a framework of national resistance. The Palestinian people will stand resolute and support their democratic choice. I truly believe that Hamas will succeed, God willing, [thanks to] the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the support of our Muslim and Arab nation."

[1], April 24, 2006.

The interview appeared in English and has been lightly edited for style.

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