Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, which aired on Future News TV on June 15, 2010:
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: We have liberated Gaza, but have we recognized Israel? Have we given up our lands occupied in 1948? We demand the liberation of the West Bank, and the establishment of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital – but without recognizing [Israel]. This is the key – without recognizing the Israeli enemy on a single inch of land.
This is our plan for this stage – to liberate the West Bank and Gaza, without recognizing Israel’s right to a single inch of land, and without giving up the Right of Return for a single Palestinian refugee.
Our plan for this stage is to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, and to establish a state on it. Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy.
As for the issue of a referendum – [the Palestinian Authority] is ready to impose its position on people by force. Whoever wants to hold a referendum, and believes that he can get all of Palestine for the Palestinians, can hold a referendum, but will not give up the platform of resistance, and the plan to liberate Palestine in its entirety. This is unequivocal.
If we could liberate the Negev now, we would continue [our military activity], but our capabilities dictate that after we got rid of the Israeli presence in Gaza, we must finish off the remnants of that occupation, and move on to the West Bank.