In an Exclusive interview with Iran’sView, Muhammad Al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas and a member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip talks about the latest Hamas-Israel confrontation, the two-state or one-state solution, Egypt- Hamas ties and the Syrian crisis.
Al-Zahar believes Hamas’ 300 million dollar loss over the 8-day Israeli assault on Gaza, was the least significant outcome of the war and Israel’s liability to Palestinian missiles transformed the conflict from the Gaza borders to the heart of Israel were the most outstanding results of the war.
Hamas’ top leader does not consider the establishment of a Palestinian state at the 1967 borders “a termination of struggles for the liberation of all Occupied territories.” nor an agreement to a Two-state solution; in an interview with Iran’sView he emphasized that only “one Single State should rule Palestine.”
Al-Zahar thinks of Camp David treaty’s cancelation by Egypt as “not wise” and stresses that the Egyptians government should take advantage of other means of pressuring the Israeli regime such as halting gas exports. He also intends to seek the reopening of Rafah’s border as well as resolving the issue of the destruction of underground tunnels, once the Egyptian government is fully established.
Regarding the Syrian crisis, the senior Palestinian leader believes Hamas holds a neutral stance where neither of the parties are supported and this has not lead to a decline in Hamas-Iran relations: “We have extensive ties with Iran of which we feel proud.”
Alzahar emphasized Hamas’ opposes any forms of military interference in Syria, and sought the talks between the government and the opposition to begin as soon as possible.
Read Iran’sView Interview with Al-Zahar in full:
With reference to Israel-Hamas latest military battle:
-What is clear is that the outcomes of the war can never be measured based on the damages; and the reports published about the losses cannot be considered the final results and consequences of the war. The outcomes of the war are divided into two particular parts. The first part is that: the influence of the Palestinian parties’ reactions and responses to Israeli attacks were immense and this was the first time that the war was transformed from Gaza borders to the heart of the occupied territories which lead the residents of the Israeli settlements to leave their homes and consequently the regime requested the impeding of Israeli settlements bombardment and suggested to cease Gaza attacks, too.
With regards to the establishment of a two-state plan and a solution to the Palestinian problem
We have never agreed with the establishment of a partial Palestinian state as a solution for the country’s problem and we emphasize our stance regarding the liberation of all occupied territories. We have agreed to this plan [of the 1967 borders] as a solution but it never means we have given up on the rights of the Palestinian nation and have withdrawn from our previous stances and this plan should be the initiator of the liberation of the remaining occupied areas. There is a big difference between political tricks and withdrawal from official stances. We have agreed with the plan as a “temporary” solution and this does not mean we have refrained from all our holy ideals and the rights of the Palestinian nation. We believe that only one state should rule all of the Palestinian Territories.
Vis-à-vis ties with Egypt, Camp David treaty and the destruction of the underground tunnels at Rafah border
Firstly I should emphasize that it was not the Muslim Brotherhood that signed the Camp David treaty. Secondly Egypt is a country with a culture which respects international agreements and treaties. On the other hand although the Camp David treaty caused a lot of problems, it has assisted Egypt in restraining Israel. This is not wise for Egypt to start an unwanted war by canceling the treaty. Egypt needs to take advantage of other measurements such as halting gas exports to Israel.
Egypt’s stances on the recent Israeli attacks against the Gaza strip, on the US and the Zionist regime is very different from those of the Mubarak regime.
The underground tunnels are used for transferring aid to Palestinians. Therefore if Egypt opens border pathways, Hamas will destroy the underground tunnels as we will not need them anymore. In the current situation there is no agreement between Hamas and Egypt regarding these tunnels and we definitely ask Cairo to fully reopen the ground borders with Gaza.
Concerning ties with Iran
It is mere rumor and baseless falsehood that Hamas has left resistance and is not as close to Iran and Syria as it used to be. We have extensive ties with Iran of which we are proud of.
About Syria our policy is that we stand neither with the government nor with the opponents. Our main struggle is to liberate Palestine and we would never want even one drop of Palestinians’ blood to be shed anywhere outside the Palestinian borders. All our policies and plans are in line with resistance and we do our best to help Muslim and Arab countries get united on the Palestinian cause. When the Syrian crisis had just started we announced that we would only support a political solution and we are against any forms of military intervention in the country. The talks between the Syrian parties would be initiated as soon as possible and the international community should support it.
On Palestine’s domestic affairs and Hamas internal conflicts
There is a very big difference between the national peace agreements signed in Qatar and Egypt. In the signed plan in Cairo, it was decided that the prime minister should be impartial and that the Palestinian government should be established as one technocrat state whereas in Qatar agreement it was agreed that “Mahmoud Abbas”, the head of the Palestinian Authority would be chosen as the Palestinian prime minister. Of course this part of the agreement is negotiable and changeable and we can reach an agreement over that in the future.
This is true that we have internal disagreements in Hamas, but this does not mean Hamas is divided into parties and is not united. Each member’s opinion is respected. News about Hamas being divided and the members trying to form an independent party outside Palestine, is untruthful. Different opinions should be respected.