On June 19, 2022, a conference was held at Al-Umma University in Gaza under the title “Palestinian Sovereignty, the Strategic Variables and Future Paths.” The speakers at the conference included Hamas political bureau chief Isma’il Haniya, political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouq and other officials. In their speeches they addressed the changes taking place in the world and the region, with focus on the war in Ukraine. They assessed that, after this war, America is likely to lose its global hegemony, resulting in a multipolar world order. In light of this, the Hamas officials stressed the importance of opening up to America’s rivals, Russia and China, and of forming strategic alliances with all forces that support the resistance, in order to attain the liberation of Palestine and the right of return. They predicted that the changes taking place in the international arena, and the emergence of a multipolar world order, will have a positive impact on the Arab and Muslim world, and especially on the Palestinian issue.
The following are translated excerpts from the speeches delivered by Haniya and Abu Marzouq at the conference.
"Palestinian Sovereignty, Strategic Variables, and Future Paths" conference logo (Source: Uou.edu.ps, June 19, 2022)
Hamas Leader Isma’il Haniya: The World Will Become Multipolar, Putting An End To The Unipolar Era That Dictated International Policy; We Must Open Up To China, Russia, Iran, And All The Countries That Oppose The Israel-U.S. Policy
The following is the translation of the report on the official Hamas website about Ismail Haniya's speech at the conference:
"Hamas political bureau chief Isma’il Haniya called on strategists and decision makers to focus on several important variables, and to take them and their outcomes into consideration in order to build a future Palestinian strategic vision… He stated that 'the first variable on the Palestinian level is embodied in the results of the Sword of Jerusalem campaign [the May 2021 Israel-Hamas fighting], which was a high-quality move and a strategic turning point in the conflict with the Zionist enemy.' He added that these results were very clear, both in terms of the unity of the land and the people, and in terms of connecting the equation of the power represented by the resistance with the sanctity represented by Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque. He also noted that the [Palestinian] issue had regained its respected status, on the level of the [Islamic] ummah and in the world's attention, and that Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa are once again the axis of the conflict with the enemy.
"The movement leader stated that the second variable is connected to the American withdrawal from the region in more than one arena, and in particular the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He added that 'there is no doubt that the American hegemonic power in the world is not as capable [as it once was] of imposing its military, defense, and political influence on different regions in the world, including on our Arab and Islamic region. Israel,’ he said, ‘had been exposed [in its weakness] in the Sword of Jerusalem campaign and there is [also] a decline in America’s [involvement], as part of its redeployment and the pivoting of its attention to new issues such as its rivalry with China and Russia and with the rising forces in the world. These are vitally important turning points with strategic impacts and ramifications. We must read them cautiously and carefully.'
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"[Haniya] continued: 'The third and most important variable is the Russia-Ukraine war, which is [in fact, a war] between Russia and its camp and the West generally, led by the U.S.. This is the broadest and most significant war in the struggle between the world's camps since the end of WWII.' Stressing that 'after this war the world will no longer be the same,' he added: 'It will undoubtedly become a multipolar world, and the currently prevailing unipolar era in international and global policy will end. This will certainly be a very important change, and it will impact both our Arab and Islamic region and our [Palestinian] cause and our struggle with the occupation.’
"He pointed out that 'the fourth variable is... the normalization and Israel's attempts to infiltrate the region and to form military and security alliances with some Arab governments, in a way that apparently has gone beyond normalization to the integration of the [Zionist] entity into the region and the reorganization of the region.’
"He clarified that, in light of these four variables, strategic priorities must focus on these four topics of resistance; forming strategic alliances; moving the [Arab] peoples from a strategy of support for liberation [of Palestine] to a strategy of partnership, and [showing] openness to the international community. He went on to emphasize that the resistance – in Gaza, the West Bank, the 1948 territories, and outside [Palestine] – is a top strategic priority, and added that it must obtain support and assistance from our people and from the seekers of freedom, and that the resistance is a steel dome for defending Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, the West Bank, the prisoners, and the residents of the 1948 territories [i.e., Israeli Arabs].
"He noted that there is a need for courage, and for re-forging strategic alliances that will focus on the strategy of [showing] openness to all who supports the resistance... The ummah, [he said,] must once again adopt the strategy of partnership and direct involvement in the demands for liberation.
"Haniyeh stated that the Zionist narrative is no longer current, that Israel's status is not what it once was, and that there are important variables to be based on, including openness to large and influential countries such as China and Russia as well as Islamic Iran and all the countries that are confronting the Israel-U.S. policy in the region...
"[Finally,] he expressed hope that the conference would provide an important boost for consolidating future trends and strategic priorities on the Palestinian, regional, and international levels, would [constitute] a point of light, and that the decisionmakers would accept its conclusions."
Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh (Source: Hamas.ps/ar, June 19, 2022)
Moussa Abu Marzouq: A Multipolar World Order Will Improve The Position Of The Palestinian Cause
As mentioned, Hamas political bureau official Moussa Abu Marzouq made similar remarks during the conference, pointing out that the war in Ukraine could serve the Palestinian cause. The following is a translation of his statements, as reported by the Hamas website:
"Hamas political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouq said during the conference...: 'We are still at the stage of revolution and liberation – not at the stage of forming a state. Therefore, the liberation of Palestine and the dismantling of the Israeli occupation are needed in order for us to discuss issues [concerning] Palestinian sovereignty. This sovereignty does not exist as long as the occupation remains [part of] Palestinian life.' He noted further that the Palestinian cause is not isolated from the influence of environments both near and far, [for] regional and international events have a direct impact in the national liberation phase.
"Stating that Hamas maintains an array of foreign relations in its battle for liberation and return, he said that, as a liberation movement, it is monitoring developments in the world order, particularly Russia's military activity in Ukraine and the Russia-West conflict, as well as the possibility of a move to a new world order curtailing the absolute hegemony of the U.S., from which 'Israel' draws its power. [Hamas follows these developments, he clarified,] in the hope that a multipolar [world] order will come, which will improve the position of the Palestinian cause.
"As for [Arab countries'] normalization [of relations with Israel], Abu Marzouq said that cold relations have grown into alliances and joint [military] exercises... [in an attempt] to transform the conflict in the region from one between the Arabs and Israel into one between the Arabs and Iran.
"The political bureau member said [further] that in May 2021, the resistance carried out a large-scale honorable war [against Israel, i.e. the Sword of Jerusalem], but that the regional environment and the central powers in the region had acted to prevent [Hamas] from making political gains from this blessed round of fighting. He noted that the interests of the countries that had bound themselves to the [Zionist] entity and the U.S. prevented some of them from taking a position of support for the Palestinian people, as would befit the status of those countries."
Hamas political bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouq (Source: Hamas.ps, June 19, 2022)