Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that Hamas was employing "peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support." Speaking on Al-Jazeera on May 13, Al-Zahhar, former foreign minister in the Hamas government, said that the option of armed struggle has not diminished. "On the contrary, it is growing and developing," he said.
Host: "Mr. Mahmoud Abbas said that after all these years, Hamas is employing the same peaceful resistance that has been advocated by Fatah since day one and for many years. So why don't Fatah and Hamas agree on a united platform?"
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: "This is a clear terminological deception. When you are in possession of weapons that were able to withstand the occupation in the wars of 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2014... When you have weapons that are being wielded by men who were able to prevent the strongest army in the region from entering the Gaza Strip for 51 days, and were able to capture or kill soldiers of that army – is this really 'peaceful resistance'? This is not peaceful resistance. Has the option (of armed struggle) diminished? No. On the contrary, it is growing and developing. That's clear. So when we talk about 'peaceful resistance,' we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support. As for (Fatah's) 'peaceful resistance,' it consists of rallies, demonstrations, protests, pleas, and requests, in order to improve the terms of the negotiations, or to enable talks with the Israeli enemy. This deception does not fool the Palestinian public."