Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister and Hamas leader Mahmoud a-Zahar (photo left) declared this week that a ceasefire (hudna) with Israel is not recognition of Israel or its right to exist, but only a tactical step toward the "complete liberation" of Palestine. As reported by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
"We as Muslims are the owners of this land and we shall not give up a single handful of Palestinian soil," Zahar told students at Gaza City's Islamic University on Sunday (10 Dec). He declared that a solution to the conflict is not the creation of a Palestinian state according to the 1967 boundaries, but the total liberation of "all Palestinian lands" -- a popular euphemism for the territory "occupied" by the State of Israel. The establishment of a Palestinian state would be followed by an "Islamic cultural enterprise." Zahar demanded that the PA renounce all agreements it signed with Israel, which he said have brought disaster upon the Palestinian people. In addition, he rejected any type of security coordination with Israel, which he termed "a betrayal of the homeland."Another Hamas official of the Palestinian Authority, Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs Salah Alrakab, also spoke to the students:
Here is my question for all those "progressives" in the "peace camp," especially my Jewish brothers and sisters: These people say they want to destroy Israel. They say that a hudna is a tactic to buy time until they are militarily and politically strong enough to destroy Israel. Currently, Israel is militarily strong enough to defeat the Palestinian Authority in battle and disarm or destroy its militias (both those of Fatah and Hamas). What logic is there in entering into a ceasefire and waiting docilely until the Palestinians are able to try to make good on their threat? Indeed, even if Israel were to prevail in such an eventual confrontation, would it not cost more Israeli and Palestinian lives than to go to war now?
Salah Alrakab told the students that Islam forbids signing a peace agreement with Jews, because "The conflict with the Jews is a religious, existential struggle and is not a conflict over borders." At most, he said, Islamic law permits signing a temporary hudna (cease-fire).
The Jews have no claim to a Land of Israel but that stated in the Torah, he continued, which has already been proven to be a forgery. Liberation of the land will be accomplished only by jihad through the general mobilization of the Islamic nation, he said, which is the shortest way to restore Palestinian rights and shrink "the greed of the Jews."