Hamas Leader: Why Recognize Israel? Arab State Must Replace It

In an interview which aired on Al-Manar TV on Jan. 25, 2006, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar put the organization's principles forward very clearly, including plans to continue with terror.

Naomi Grossman, | updated: 10:33

Al-Zahar's remarks included a determination to continue to murder Israeli civilians, a defiant refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, and plans to replace Israel with an Arab state.

"We will not give up the resistance in the sense of Jihad," stated Al-Zahar. He added that "the war of tunnels and of security against the Israeli enemy, which ultimately led to its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank" would only continue.

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Al-Zahar also described Hamas' territorial aspirations: "Our education system will not represent Palestine [merely] as a coastal strip stretching from Rafah to Beit Hanoun [the Gaza Strip]," he stated. "Palestine means Palestine in its entirety - from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, from Ras Al-Naqura to Rafah. We cannot give up a single inch of it."

Vowing to intensify education of youth to kill Israeli civilians, Al-Zahar discussed the reforms in the education system his group wishes to introduce: "Our ministry of culture will teach them [Arab children] how the martyr is turned into prose, literature, and poetry, and how a woman, who used to cook and do the laundry, turns into one of the heroes of Palestine."

Regarding the "Right of Return," Al-Zahar remained very firm on this issue:
"If the Right of Return is an individual right, neither Mahmoud Al-Zahar nor Abbas Zaki can relinquish it, because all these concessions will constitute a national catastrophe. If they claim that the Right of Return applies even after 2,000, 3,000, or 10,000 years to the Jews who used to be in Palestine, we say: Apply the same principle [to us]. We left Palestine only in 1948."

When asked for his reaction to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's demand that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist, Al-Zahar replied:
"Why should we recognize Condoleezza Rice ... or Israel's right to exist? In this region we have faced Roman occupation, Persian occupation, Crusader occupation, British occupation, and they are all gone. The Israeli enemy does not belong to the region. It does not belong to the region's history, geography, or faith."

Al-Zahar added: "If today, we are unable to win the conflict decisively, for reasons known to all, we must not pass on to our sons a disgraceful defeat by recognizing the Israeli enemy's right to exist, where it has no such right."





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