In recent months, Hamas officials and spokesmen have repeatedly praised jihad and armed resistance against Israel, and have continued to stress that they will never recognize Israel because Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Following is a review of their recent statements:
Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al: Jihad And Armed Resistance Are The Proper And True Path To Liberation And To The Restoration Of Our Rights
In a December 7, 2012 address during his visit to the Gaza Strip, Hamas leader Khaled 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...
"How Wonderful Was [The] Shelling Of Tel Aviv"
"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.
"I and my dear brother Abu Al-Abd Haniya, and the entire Hamas leadership, both here and abroad... are indebted to the leadership of the Palestinian military wings. If not for the great commanders of the military wings, we would have no statesmen... How wonderful was your shelling of Tel Aviv... 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..."
"I say to the entire world, through the media: If the world finds a way other than through resistance and bloodshed to restore Palestine and Jerusalem to us, to implement the Right of Return, and to put an end to the loathsome Zionist occupation – we will welcome it. But we gave you a chance for 64 years, and you did not do a thing. That is why we opted for resistance..."
Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al
Gaza, The West Bank, And The Land Within The 1948 Borders Are All Parts Of The Palestinian Homeland
"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... 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... Gaza is inseparable from the West Bank, and they are both inseparable from Haifa, Jaffa, Beersheba... and Safed...
"Hear me well, my comrades in the various factions. Liberation will precede statehood. A real state will be the fruit of liberation, not of negotiations. There is no alternative to a free Palestinian state with real sovereignty on the entire land of Palestine..."
Isma'il Haniya In Praise Of Jihad
"I Praise Allah For Bringing Us Together Around The Love Of Jihad"
In a February 4, 2013 speech to a delegation of 150 representatives of Arab and Islamic countries visiting the Gaza Strip, Hamas Prime Minister Isma'il Haniya said: "I praise Allah for bringing us together around the love of jihad, the love of Palestine, and the liberation of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa... Palestine still lives under the whip of the occupation, but today it seeks the path of victory and liberation through resistance and the revival of the nation and its return to the path of glory and honor."
Speaking of the Palestinian victory during Israel's November 2012 Pillar of Defense operation in Gaza, he said: "Gaza was strong, and for the first time, the resistance shelled occupied Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Herzliya; and for the first time, two million Israelis were underground and five million experienced the supremacy of the missiles, and the occupation asked for a ceasefire... The day will soon come when you will find no remnant of the occupation in the land of Palestine – all of Palestine...
He continued: "Or brothers in the West Bank said 'Allah Akbar' when they saw the rockets rain down on the occupation, and the ummah also said 'Allah Akbar.'"
Regarding the right of return, Haniya said: "We will not relinquish the right of return to Palestine; anyone who does is not one of us, and not part of us. I say that I am from Ashkelon - Ashkelon is my city, and to it I shall return."
Palestine From The River To The Sea
On December 11, 2012, at a reception for a delegation of Palestinian refugees from the diaspora, Haniya said: "Palestine is an issue of the ummah, and resistance will liberate it; the resistance will liberate what it can of Palestine. We say to you: Palestine, from the river to the sea, will be liberated by the ummah, and not just by the Palestinian people."
Haniya Praises Umm Nidal, Who Lost Three Sons In Jihad Operations
On March 17, 2013, at the funeral of Hamas MP Maryam (Umm Nidal) Farahat, aka "the Al-Khansa of Palestine," who lost three sons and had two others wounded in resistance operations, Haniya stressed that he adhered to the path of resistance and jihad in Umm Nidal's way.
He added: "The foundations of [Ariel] Sharon's [decision] to remove the settlements from the Gaza Strip were laid by the martyr Muhammad Farahat [son of Umm Nidal], with his heroic action that brought about the deaths of nine Zionist officers, and the foundations that led us to attack Tel Aviv in the Eight-Day War [i.e. Operation Pillar of Defense], and which will lead us to attack what lies beyond Tel Aviv, were laid by the martyr Nidal Farahat [another son of Umm Nidal,] who invented the Qassam rocket."
Haniya then praised Umm Nidal Farahat, saying, "She is the extraordinary woman who gave birth to a son who led the manufacture of the Qassam rockets. His rockets reached occupied Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. She [also] gave up her son Muhammad for the sake of Allah. He successfully killed Zionist officers in a heroic battle...
"[Her sons] Nidal, Muhammad and Rawad are martyrs with a single mother. All were active in the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades and have an honorable jihadi past. Furthermore, her home was a pilgrimage destination for all delegations visiting Gaza – as well as a center for jihad..."
A March 17, 2013 Hamas communiqué stated that Umm Nidal was "a model of [Palestinian] womanhood and motherhood: [one] who waged jihad and withstood [tests], and who presented three of her sons as martyrs to Allah in order to defend the land, Al-Aqsa and the holy sites... She was a source of inspiration for the [young] Palestinian generation, in sacrifice, in seeking reward [from Allah for the sons who sacrificed their lives], in resistance, and in jihad..."
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Our Love Of Jihad And Sacrifice Is Greater Than The Zionist Love Of Life
"Embarking On A Collective Revolution Will Bring About The Expulsion Of The Coward [Israelis]"
In an interview with the Egyptian weekly 'Aqidati that was published February 19, 2013, Hamas official Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar was asked about his assessment that the Zionist entity would disappear within a decade. He answered: "All signs attest to this, provided that we prepare as best we can..."
He added: "I think that 10 years will be enough for enacting sufficient change and besieging the entity [i.e. Israel, with the help of] an Arab and Islamic awakening in the Palestinian territories, so that the Zionists find themselves besieged from without, and with no internal security... The entire Palestinian people will break its bonds and the barrier of fear in all areas of historic Palestine... Embarking on a collective revolution will bring about the expulsion of the cowards [i.e., the Israelis] who cannot live for long in a state of war, and will exhaust [their] resources, to the point where they prefer to flee, to emigrate whence they came."
Al-Zahhar also said: "I believe that, among the youth of Islamic awakening, the love of jihad and sacrifice for the liberation of the holy sites is much greater that the Zionists' love of life, property and remaining in Palestine. This is why the legend of the indomitable Israeli army is over... The rockets of the sons of Gaza reached Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and therefore victory is at hand..."
We Must Educate Our Children For Jihad
Al-Zahhar went on to say: "The vast majority of the missiles fired by the brave men of the resistance in the Gaza Strip [during Pillar of Defense] were, God be thanked, entirely of Palestinian manufacture; the development [of these missiles] continues, so that they can be dispatched to greater distances... In principle, we have the right to arm ourselves so that we can respond to aggression against us, and can liberate our land. This right is anchored in international law.
"The resistance does indeed have a stock of Iranian Fajr rockets, with a range of 80 km, though the brave men of the resistance have launched only a few of these. The rest of the rockets – Palestinian-made M75s – have a range of 75 km. There is also an option to develop the range [further still] and to increase their payload so that they can cause greater destruction."
He concluded: "If the land of Palestine was lost because the Arabs and Muslims... were unwilling to sacrifice for Al-Aqsa, I fervently hope that we overcome this passivity and educate ourselves and our children for worship, work and jihad... Resistance and struggle are the only way to fully liberate Palestine."
'Izzat Al-Rishq: Armed Resistance – The Only Way To Defeat The Occupier
In response to statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas against the armed resistance, Hamas political bureau member 'Izzat Al-Rishq posted several tweets. He wrote: "Armed resistance has proven itself as the only way to defeat the occupier, to take our rights by force, and to establish our independent Palestinian state on all of our occupied land, with Jerusalem as its capital."; "Our position in Hamas is totally clear with regard to adherence to our entire Palestinian land from the river to the sea, and against relinquishing a single inch of it"; "We never have and never will agree to the so-called 'two-state solution'..."; "We again stress our position that all forms of resistance must be used against the Zionist occupation – including popular resistance alongside armed resistance."
'Izzat Al-Rishq Tweets
Popular Resistance Is Not An Alternative To Armed Resistance; We Will Never Recognize Israel
In an interview published February 12, 2013 by Arabsolaa.com, Al-Rishq said: "We agreed to use non-peaceful popular resistance, because peaceful resistance means refraining even from throwing stones – and this is not what we intend [to do]. When Hamas agreed to use popular resistance, it was a joint plan with Fatah and all the other forces – a plan that could possibly recruit the most extensive mass participation. We in Hamas do not in any way see popular resistance as an alternative to armed resistance. The rifle will remain raised.
"We know that our enemy understands only the language of force. We must cling to our people's right to resistance in all its forms – the chief among them being armed resistance... Hamas will never agree to recognize Israel, neither directly nor indirectly, neither declared nor implicit. Any agreement or treaty that includes recognition of Israel does not represent our people..."
Hamas Communiqué: We Will Never Agree To The Two-State Solution
Similar statements were published in a January 28, 2013 Hamas communiqué that came in response to Abbas's statement that the Palestinian factions accept the two-state solution and the option of popular resistance. The communiqué said: "We stress that we have not and never will agree to the so-called 'two-state solution.' Our position is totally clear regarding our adherence to all Palestinian land from the river to the sea, and our refusal to relinquish or forgo a single grain of its soil. Our position on establishing a Palestinian state on the land occupied in 1967 was part of the agreement on a joint national plan, while stressing that we refuse to recognize the Zionist entity."
The communiqué included a call to use all forms of resistance – popular resistance alongside armed resistance – as the only proven way to vanquish the occupation, achieve rights, and establish an independent Palestinian state on all occupied lands with Jerusalem as its capital.
Head Of Hamas' Al-Quds Office Calls For Renewing Terrorist Attacks In Israel
At a March 6, 2013 press conference in Jerusalem, Hamas MP Ahmad Abu Halabiyya, who heads Hamas's Al-Quds Office, called for renewing terrorist attacks in Israel: "We call on all Palestinian factions to renew their jihadi and military activity in the Zionist rear, particularly in Jerusalem, to force the Zionist entity to cease its aggression and war crimes against our people, our land and our holy sites – chief among them the Al-Aqsa mosque – and against our brave prisoners."
Hamas Spokesman: No Element In The World Can Prevent Gaza From Obtaining Weapons
In an interview with the Egyptian daily Al-Watan, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Hamas would continue smuggling weapons from Egypt to the Gaza Strip no matter what. He said, "We seek weapons, and we are acting to bring weapons into the Gaza [Strip] from anywhere, no matter what anyone says... We are knocking on all doors in order to obtain weapons, openly and in secret – because otherwise how will we carry out resistance?"
He added: "The siege [on Gaza] continues, even though we demanded from [Egyptian President Muhammad] Mursi that it be removed. No element in the world can prevent Gaza from obtaining weapons. This must be clear. We will obtain weapons and we will manufacture weapons. If Gaza falls, so will Cairo, because the stability [of Gaza] is linked to Egypt's national security."
 Al-Aqsa TV (Gaza), December 7, 2012.
 Filastin (Gaza), February 4, 2013.
 Maannews.net, December 11, 2012.
 Al-Khansa bint 'Amr was a poet in pre-Islamic times who converted to Islam during the time of the Prophet Muhammad. She is considered the "Mother of Martyrs" since, after her four children died in one of the battles of early Islam, she did not mourn them but rather thanked Allah for "honoring her with their deaths."
 Paltimes.net, March 18, 2013.
 Paltoday.ps, March 17, 2013.
 Palestine-info.com, March 17, 2013.
 Alqassam.ps, March 17, 2013.
 'Aqidati.net.eg, February 19, 2013.
 Twitter.com/izzat_risheq, January 27, 2013.
 Arabsolaa.com, February 12, 2013.
 Alqassam.ps, January 28, 2013.
 Shehab.ps, March 6, 2013.
 Al-Watan (Egypt), March 11, 2013.