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Jan 23, 2006
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Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al Presents the Hamas Platform for the Legislative Council Elections

#1007 | 04:58
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al, which was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 23, 2006.

Khaled Mash'al: In 1996, they wanted Hamas was to participate in the elections in order to give legitimacy to the Oslo Accords, whereas today, the situation is different. Today, the resistance has legitimacy. In 1996, some people participated in the elections under the Oslo umbrella and source of authority, and in the hope that Oslo would achieve something for the Palestinian people. Today the Palestinian people is convinced (otherwise). Today we enter the Legislative Council with the platform of the resistance, which most of the forces in the Palestinian people agree on, Allah be praised.


True, we refused to participate in the 1996 elections, and we were right to do so. Events have proven us to be right. Today, in 2006, we enter the Legislative Council, and we are right to do so.


In the past five years, nobody has been talking about Oslo. Even leaders among our brothers in Fatah would say: "Sharon buried Oslo," "Oslo is a thing of the past." Even Abu Ammar, when he saw that the prospect of a settlement had reached a dead end, abandoned Oslo. The Palestinian people as a whole sees Oslo as a thing of the past. Today, unfortunately, some of the brothers from the PA want to bring these decaying bones back to life. Why? Because they want to set up new obstacles. When did all this begin? After the two American emissaries arrived – Welch and the other one. They apparently laid down certain conditions, because afterwards some of the brothers in the PA began to play a new tune, saying: "Guys, whoever wants to join the Legislative Council must know that this council is based on Oslo." Since when do we rely on Oslo in the past five years? I wouldn't want us to outsmart one another. Oslo no longer exists.


Today we are facing a political structure that used to be based on Oslo – true, it resulted from Oslo – but today this structure represents a new reality in the Palestinian scene. The Palestinian people, with its will, its sacrifice, its Intifada, is creating something new, on which this Legislative Council is based. That's why Hamas and the other forces are joining the Legislative Council on the basis of continued resistance, adhering to the weapons of the resistance, adhering to the Palestinian rights, to rectifying internal Palestinian affairs, to reform, to fighting corruption – this is our platform, and we do not base ourselves on Oslo.


Restricting ourselves to the option of negotiations and politics alone, without the resistance, will make the enemy view us with more contempt, rather than with respect. On the other hand, the logic underlying the revolutions of all nations was to maintain a political process alongside resistance. Our enemy respects only the language of power. Let me give you an example, brother Muhammad. Oslo did not manage to dismantle the settlements in Gaza or the West Bank through negotiations. All there was was redeployment with no sovereignty over Gaza, one-third of which consisted of settlements under Israeli sovereignty. On the other hand, when we united around resistance, we managed to force our enemy to withdraw from Gaza.


Some people believe that a brilliant politician is one who buys and sells, closes deals, sits down with the enemy to negotiate, swims with him, hang out in pyjamas, and smoke cigars together at Oslo – this doesn't make sense. What did the Vietnamese do? They forced America to withdraw by means of resistance. When America was worn out, they went to Paris, and forced America to leave Vietnam. We, in Hamas, represent a realistic view, not a utopian one.


Interviewer: Some accuse the Hamas of having received funding as well, this time from Iran. They are talking about ten million dollars.


Khaled Mash'al: Hamas is based on funding by the people of the various Arab and Islamic countries - from the peoples, from those who support this conscience. So we cannot be accused of being supported by this, that, or the other. Besides, if the nation supports us, this is nothing to be ashamed of. In the American era, it is not easy for governments to give support. But we recieve support from the peoples, and the governments may know this, but they cannot prevent the charity, Allah be praised.

I think you know that during the years of this Intifada, when the governments held telethons, the peoples called upon their governments not transfer the funds to the PA, but directly to the Palestinian people. And indeed, they transferred the money directly to the people, and this made us very happy, because we want aid to reach the Palestinian people. I promise you, brother Muhammad, that Hamas is clean, and it is prepared to open all its files. I wish the others would open their files as well, so that we can see who is clean and who is tainted, who relies on external aid, and who relies on its own people.

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