Hamas, founded in 1988, is a Palestinian organization that astonishes many.
The relevance of the organization is due to the fact that it resists the brutal invasion carried out by Israel that is backed by powerful world nations, with a force of determination. As far as those with a sense of self and freedom are concerned, Hamas is a wonder and a source of exhilaration. The organisation’s proclaimed goal is to liberate Palestine and establish an independent state by destroying Israel that took roots in the Palestinian soil by driving lakhs of people from their homes. Hamas has been waging armed battles against invasion. They have their own military wing. The US and European Union consider Hamas as a terrorist organization. The group also lacks support among several Arab nations. When Hamas came to power winning a huge majority in the Palestine Authority election in 2007, its number of foes also increased. Although the Western governments and leaders preach about democracy to others, they conveniently forgot the lessons taught, when the Palestinians elected Hamas to power through a democratic manner. Attempts were made to pull down the Hamas government in every way possible. Severe sanctions were imposed on the Gaza strip that has a populace of 20 lakh backing the organization. Israel has imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza since 2007. Egypt, that shares border with Gaza also backed Israel in making the sanctions effective. Gaza thus became the world’s largest open prison. Israel unleased three brutal wars against the hapless civilians. Despite all the adversities, Hamas pulled through, reinforcing its power. They still have an immense acceptance among the Palestinians.
The organization is now in the news for other reasons. Hamas leader Khalid Mishal called a press conference last Monday in Doha which was reported with great prominence by the international media. Mishal in the press conference, unveiled a new political document of the organization. Hamas charter prepared in 1988 has been considered as the organisation’s basic political policy until now. According to the charter, reclaiming every inch of the Palestinian soil and establishing a free Palestine state has been the goal of Hamas. But the international community recognizes a Palestinian state that is based on the 1967 borders including the Gaza strip and West Bank. The most significant aspect of the political charter announced in Doha is that the Hamas accepts the idea of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital. The document explains that the group reached such a stance as part of ‘national consensus’. The Fatah movement led by Mahmoud Abbas recognizes this concept and on its basis, takes part in the peace talks. It was in the backdrop of the criticisms that the differences between Hamas and Fatah undermined the political future of the Palestinians that Hamas accepted the policy. At the same time, the new document of the Hamas too isn’t willing to compromise on the rights of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. The 1988 charter views the Palestinian issue as a conflict between the religions of Judaism and Islam. However, the new policy rejects that stance. The document which describes that the issues in Palestine are political in nature, also clarifies that Hamas wasn’t seeking war against the Jews but against the aggression of the Zionists. It likens the confrontations of Hamas to the nation’s freedom struggle.
In an exclusive interview for the CNN television after the press conference, Mishal said that it was the ability of any organization to transform that helps it sustain and makes it relevant. In that case, the new policy document should be seen as a natural consequence of an organization that endured major experiences in a short span of time. All those who are interested in resolving the Palestine issue should approach the new policy with seriousness. Isolating a people’s organization by branding it as terrorist group would only provide a momentary pleasure; it would not resolve the issue. Solving the Palestine issue isn’t possible by neglecting Hamas and attaining world peace is impossible without resolving the Palestine issue. Therefore those who aspire world peace should consider the new approach of Hamas with seriousness.