Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, which aired on Dream 1 TV on July 21, 2011:
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: We in Gaza conducted a plan of resistance in order to drive the occupation out. The plan was accomplished, and not a single settler or soldier remains on the Palestinian land in Gaza. Our plan is to continue this approach. Today, we have completed the liberation of Gaza, and your plan does not… At this moment in time, we say to you, first of all: We want Palestine in its entirety – so there will not be any misunderstandings. If our generation is unable to achieve this, the next one will, and we are raising our children on this. Palestine means Palestine in its entirety, and Israel cannot exist in our midst.
Interviewer: But that was your past rhetoric. Today, you are talking about the 1967 borders…
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: I swear by Allah, this is what is on our minds.
Interviewer: Today, you are talking about the 1967 borders.
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Fine, but this is a phase. This is just a phase.
Interviewer: When Abu Ammar [Arafat] used to talk about conducting struggle in phases and about give and take, you accused him of treason…
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: No, we never accuse anyone of treason. We talk about security cooperation and leave the interpretation up to you. Let me explain to you the difference between Fatah and us on this issue. We talk about the liberation of the pre-1967 territories, but we do not recognize Israel on a single inch of our land. In other words, this land will remain ours, and when the balance of power changes, we will regain it. We will regain the land, even if we have to do so inch by inch.
So the difference between Fatah and us is clear. They sold out 78% of the Palestinian lands and consider them to be Israeli lands. They consider only 22% of the land to be Palestinian, and even that is subject to negotiation. Therefore, anyone who says that Hamas has accepted the 1967 borders… I would like to make something clear: We will establish a state on any piece of land, but without giving up on any piece of Palestinian land.
Interviewer: That was not what you said in the past.
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: We have not changed our rhetoric.
Interviewer: So there has been a development…
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: There has been no development and no deterioration. That is an actual interpretation of what we have achieved. We said in the past and we continue to say: Palestine in its entirety is Islamic waqf land, which cannot be relinquished.
Mahmoud Abbas is engaged in political gymnastics. He made a new jump. After one jump – the signing of the reconciliation agreement – he's now jumped to the so-called "September realization of statehood." I don't know who invented this term. "Realization" means the demand for one's rights. Who on earth gave him the right to mock the people, and to tell them that a state is on the way?
Now, he is incapable of obtaining the status of UN member state. He cannot achieve it, because the US veto will thwart him. Until now, he has been unable to obtain even the status of non-member state, because he needs nine countries, which is 50% plus one, in order to obtain this status in the UN General Assembly. So what does he want to gain?
You are facing somebody whose plan has been torn to shreds, whose pond has gone dry, and you cannot find even a single frog in it. Now he takes us to September, and he postpones this reconciliation and its fulfillment until September, in case circumstances change and they can get a state. Besides, let's assume that he obtains a full-fledged state, that there is no veto, and everything is fine – how will he implement this in practice, when the US is unable to convince the Israeli occupation to stop the settlements for even three months? How will he establish this state in practice? You are facing aimless, kangaroo-like political jumping about. Hamas knows the goal of its platform.
We liberated Gaza through resistance. We want to conduct resistance in the West Bank as well. The problem is the security cooperation and the occupation.