The radical Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad said Saturday that it rejects any move to accepting a the establishment of a Palestinian state limited to the 1967 borders after Hamas released a new program that appeared to marginally soften its stance on the issue while still calling for Israel’s destruction.
“As partners with our Hamas brothers in the struggle for liberation, we feel concern over the document” which Hamas adopted on Monday, said Islamic Jihad’s deputy leader, Ziad al-Nakhala.
“We are opposed to Hamas’s acceptance of a state within the 1967 borders and we think this is a concession which damages our aims,” he said on Islamic Jihad’s website.
Nakhala said that what he called the new Hamas policy formally accepting the idea of a state in the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War would “lead to deadlock and can only produce half-solutions.”
Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the EU, apparently adopted the new document in an attempt to improve its standing in the international community, but it is deliberately ambiguous.
The document accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 but simultaneously reiterates the imperative to destroy Israel. It dismisses the establishment of the State of Israel as “illegal,” asserting a Palestinian claim to the entire land of Israel, and a so-called right of return for all descendants of refugees. It also reserves the right to wage “resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine.”
Israel has dismissed the new document as an attempt to “fool the world.”
Founded in the 1980s in the wake of the Islamic revolution in Iran, a close ally and source of its ideology, Islamic Jihad is the second largest force in the Gaza Strip and focused entirely on the armed struggle to destroy Israel.