Hamas Updates Message, but Violent Ideology, Mission Remain Unchanged

Superficial Policy Document Announced at Doha, Qatar, Press Conference

(New York, NY) –- The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) said today that cosmetic policy language announced by Hamas does not translate to changes in the group’s violent and extremist ideology.  

On May 1, Hamas convened a press conference in Qatar to unveil a new policy document, the first since the release of its organizational charter in 1988. However, the revised document does not replace the original 1988 charter. Moreover, the new language has no bearing on Hamas’s commitment to violent “armed resistance” against Israel, and the “liberation” of all of Palestine “from the river to the sea.”

Following are excerpts from the new policy document released in Doha, Qatar: 

Article 25: Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people.

Article 27: A real state of Palestine is a state that has been liberated. There is no alternative to a fully sovereign Palestinian State on the entire national Palestinian soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.

“We were and we still are in an open war with the criminal enemy [Israel],” Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal said on March 27.

An offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas first came to prominence in the Gaza Strip in the late 1980s during the first Palestinian intifada (uprising) against Israel. Hamas forcibly expelled Fatah from the Gaza Strip in 2007, and the terrorist group has unilaterally ruled Gaza ever since, surviving on aid from Iran and Qatar, as well as income from its smuggling tunnels built beneath the Gaza-Egypt border. Hamas has launched thousands of Qassam rockets at Israeli towns and three wars with Israel, most recently in the summer of 2014.

To view CEP’s threat report on Hamas, its leaders and violent activities, please click here.

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On January 23, 2019, two car bombs exploded outside of a mosque in Benghazi, Libya, killing 41 people and injuring 80 others. No group claimed responsibility for the blast, but remnants suggested an ISIS affiliate was responsible.  

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