Hamas attempts to distance itself from comments a senior official in the terror group made last week calling on members of the Palestinian diaspora to kill Jews around the world.
“These statements do not represent the movement’s official positions and consistent, adopted policies that stipulate that our conflict is with the occupation which is occupying our land and sullying our holy sites and not with Jews around the world or with Judaism as a religion,” Hamas says in a statement on its website.
The Islamist terror group, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, makes the move following a flurry of condemnations of its senior official Fathi Hammad’s comments, including from PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat and UN envoy Nikolay Mladenov.
Hammad, a Hamas politburo member known for his fiery rhetoric, made the remarks in a speech at a protest on the border between Gaza and Israel on Friday.
“Our patience has run out. We are on the verge of exploding. If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God’s permission and glory,” Hammad said, referring to significant Israeli restrictions on the movement of people and goods between Israel and Gaza.
“The explosion is not only going to be in Gaza but also in the [West] Bank and abroad, if God wills. But our brothers [in the diaspora] are still preparing. They are trying to prepare. They are warming up. A long time has passed with them warming up. All of you 7 million Palestinians abroad, enough of the warming up. You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing, if God permits. Enough of the warming up,” he added.
Israel has said that it maintains the restrictions on movement into and out of Gaza to prevent Hamas and other terror groups from importing weaponry.
Hamas’s charter, which was issued in the late 1980s, is rife with anti-Semitic language and calls for Israel’s destruction. While Hamas issued a policy document in 2017 that said its “conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion,” it did not nullify its charter.
— Adam Rasgon