Hamas organized confab in 2021 to plot administration of ‘liberated Palestine’

Terror group aimed to bring back Palestinian refugees, kill Israeli fighters, use educated Jews for their expertise, and be recognized as Israel’s successor at UN

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar speaks during a rally marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, in Gaza City, April 14, 2023. (Mohammed Abed / AFP)
Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar speaks during a rally marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, in Gaza City, April 14, 2023. (Mohammed Abed / AFP)

Two years before its October 7 assault on southern Israel, Hamas drafted a “strategic vision” for the governing of “liberated Palestine” after the supposed inevitable demise of the State of Israel.

At a conference held in Gaza in September 2021, Hamas and other Palestinian factions discussed preparations for the future administration of the State of Palestine, intended to make up the whole territory “from the river to the sea,” including the area of the State of Israel.

The conclusions reached at the conference, titled “Promise of the Hereafter – Post-Liberation Palestine,” were publicized by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in an October 2021 report.

The confab was reportedly funded by Hamas and sponsored by Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Today, it is apparent that the conference was not merely a rhetorical exercise, but the expression of a clear intent by Gazan terror factions to destroy Israel, the stated goal of their October 7 onslaught, when some 1,200 were brutally massacred and 253 abducted to Gaza.

That objective was reiterated by former leader Khaled Mashal, who stated in a January interview that October 7 proved that liberating Palestine was a “realistic idea.”

Khaled Mashaal, member of Hamas’s political bureau, speaks to Kuwaiti podcaster Ammar Taqi on January 16, 2024 (Video screenshot)

The concluding statement from the 2021 conference outlines the steps needed to launch the new state, including how to deal with the Jews and the weeding out of informants to “purge Palestine and the Arab and Islamic homeland of the hypocrite scum that spread corruption in the land.”

Participants agreed upon the necessity to draft a Palestinian Declaration of Independence immediately after the “liberation.” To be drafted by experts, the document was seen as a continuation of the Pact of ‘Umar signed upon the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem in 638 CE with its Christian patriarch.

An announcement would then have been issued to the UN, declaring that the state of Palestine succeeded the “occupation state” [i.e., Israel] and would inherit the rights previously granted to Israel at the UN, based on the Vienna Convention on the Succession of States, including agreements on existing land and maritime borders with neighboring countries.

The Jewish population of the newly formed state of Palestine would be treated according to their status: Fighters would be killed; those attempting to flee could be allowed to do so or detained and prosecuted for their crimes; and those who surrendered could be either integrated into the new state or given time to leave.

The issue would be dealt with “humanely, as is characteristic for Islam,” the statement read.

However, special treatment was to be granted to “educated Jews and experts in the areas of medicine, engineering, technology, and civilian and military industry,” who were to be retained for some time so that they would not leave taking with them the knowledge they had acquired “while living in our land and enjoying its bounty.”

The following step, according to the document, would be the return of Palestinian refugees, through the establishment of temporary absorption centers near the borders with host countries [Lebanon, Syria and Jordan]. A “law of return” would be applied to them, and they would be issued identity cards, the statement read.

The international community and wealthy Palestinians were to assist in the repatriation and integration process.

The new state would also issue its own currency, called New Palestinian Junayh. Junayh (a term related to the English “guinea”) was the currency used in Mandatory Palestine, also known as the Palestine pound or lira. It is also the name currently used in Arabic for the Egyptian pound.

“It should be introduced domestically even now so that people will become accustomed to it,” the statement advised.

To protect the new state, the document called for “popular committees” of trained men and women to “guard the resources of the land and monitor them,” since “Palestinian fighters will be too busy.” It is unclear what resources are meant.

On the same topic of “resources,” conference chairman Kanaan Obeid said that the terror group learned a lesson from the 2005 Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip — when 21 settlements were evacuated and most of the residential buildings were destroyed. Later, some 3,000 state-of-the-art greenhouses were bought by foreign donors for $14 million and transferred to the Palestinian Authority when it still ruled Gaza to jumpstart the agricultural sector in independent Gaza. The local population however looted and destroyed the structures.

“The resources of the settlements were lost,” said Obeid.

Obeid reportedly served as the chairman of “The Promise of the Hereafter Institute,” set up in 2014 with the stated goal of plotting out different aspects of the governance of the state of Palestine after the “liberation” – including the economy, politics, security, and society.

The MEMRI report further noted that a Hamas politburo member relayed a speech by Sinwar at the conference, emphasizing the need to prepare for the day after the “liberation.”

Yahya Sinwar, leader of the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, gestures during a rally in Beit Lahiya on May 30, 2021. (Atia Mohammed/ Flash90)

Referencing the May 2021 conflict against Israel, when, over 11 days, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired over 4,000 rockets and mortar shells at Israel, Sinwar said that that round of fighting “did not suddenly break out,” but rather “the resistance had prepared for it with years of planning, training, military, and intelligence development.”

The terror leader further predicted that the conflict with Israel “can end only with the implementation of the promise of victory and control that Allah gave us – that our people will live with dignity in its independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

A former high-ranking Fatah member from Gaza who was well acquainted with the Hamas leadership recently spoke to Haaretz about another aspect of Hamas’s scheme for the “day after,” namely the administrative division of “liberated Palestine” into cantons.

The man said he was contacted by a well-known Hamas figure who informed him that Hamas was “preparing a full list of committee heads for the cantons that will be created in Palestine.” In 2021, he was reportedly offered the chairmanship of the “Zarnuqa” committee, named after the Arab village where his family lived before 1948, that was slated to cover the cities of Ramle and Rehovot.

The Fatah official reportedly reacted to the Hamas offer in disbelief: “You’re out of your minds.”

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