Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar accused the West of hypocrisy and prejudice towards the terror movement on Thursday.
“Let me correct you, the movement is not controlling, but we govern according to the results of the election and because the West’s policy is against the development of the Islamic policy, it is described as controlling. We must govern in Gaza and in the West Bank and Jerusalem, because that is the results of the elections," al-Zahar told Euronews reporter, Mohammed Shaikhibrahim.
“The West is again being hypocritical and against the Muslim world and Islamic influences, in particular it doesn’t want to accept the results of free and fair elections, which all the world saw were free and fair."
However, al-Zahar declined to comment on the bloody 2007 putsch in which Hamas seized Gaza from the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority after being frustrated in the halls of power, and firmly blamed PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas for recent failures in reconciling the rival factions.
“First, the agreement made in Cairo over four years ago said we needed to form a national unity government, which would not include members of Hamas or Fatah, or even from other Palestinian factions. That is the first point in the Doha agreement," al-Zahar told Shaikhibrahim.
“The agreement was for a neutral government to hold free and fair elections. There was pressure from the United States of America and Israel not to form a government of national unity. They want a government that accepts the Quartet’s conditions, which are not acceptable to Hamas because of great prejudice against the Palestinian people.
“In other words, the Doha agreement had shortcomings in it which means it cannot guarantee the integrity of the election, Abu Mazen, that is Mahmoud Abbas the President of the Palestinian Authority, would have no part to play in such elections.”
And secondly, he added, “Because Abu Mazen is in charge of security cooperation with Israel and responsible for the conduct of elections. He is responsible for the arrests of members of Hamas, for the confiscation of money, and for cutting back freedoms, so how can he be objective while ensuring the election results?”
al-Zahar refused to discuss the schism between the Hamas leadership in Gaza, dominated by himself and Ismail Haniyeh, and its politburo-in-exile run by Khaled Mashaal over the Doha agreement.
“As I have already said I don’t want to talk about this issue, because it has nothing to do with what happens in Gaza," al-Zahar claimed, despite reconciliation directly affecting how Gaza would be run.
He also openly admitted Hamas recieived military aid from Iran for its ongoing terror activities.
“We receive all forms of support from them and the entire Arab and Muslim world. Anyone who wants to give to us, we take. We are weak and our Israeli enemy is a nuclear power," al-Zahar said.
He then proceeded to re-write history – adding 1,300 years to the second exile, ignoring the continuous presence of Jews in Jerusalem during the exile, and ignoring all international agreements, including partition – in order to define all of Israel as "occupied territory."
“I would like to ask those people in the West a series of questions, and I’m sure they know the answers but do not dare to answer any of them," al-Zahar said.
“The first question is this. What is the origin of our land before 1948, was it a Jewish land? Did it belong to Israel? Or was it the land of the Palestinian Arab, Muslim? That’s a question to which I want them to give me an answer.
“The return of the Jews, after 3,000 years to establish a state because their ancestors were living there… does the West accept what is called the right of return? Does it accept the right of return policy?
“So let us return to Spain again because we left in 1492 and called for the re-occupation of Britain, India, and Arab and Muslim nations, and called for re-occupation by France of Syria, Lebanon, Algeria..."
al-Zahar also attempted to equate the existence of Israel - backed by the United Nations in 1948 - with the Nazi occupation of France, and compared Hamas to the French Resistance.
“If you ask the French, what they think of the occupation they will say its illegal. And what about the Nazi’s occupation of France, it is illegal of course and the resistance by Charles de Gaulle’s followers was seen as action by warriors for freedom," al-Zahar said.
"But they will not talk about the Israeli occupation of Palestine in the same way, because of their hypocrisy!"