Old Mideast map
Old Mideast map Thinkstock

Last week, Hamas Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar stated that Hamas wants to build an Islamic state in all of Palestine, meaning it would replace Israel, reports Palestinian Media Watch (PMW):

"[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won't do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine," he told Al-Ayyam on Oct. 1.

Al-Zahar further said that if Hamas had a military foothold in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) as it does in the Gaza Strip it would be able to destroy Israel. He alluded to a possible future war of destruction against Israel by citing a Surah from the Quran about "the final promise":

"Al-Zahar said that if his movement [Hamas] were to 'transfer what it has or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise with a speed that no one can imagine.'"

PMW explained that his expression "The final promise" is taken from Surah 17:7 of the Quran: "Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies]... to enter the temple in Jerusalem, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction.'" Hamas using it in the context of Israel is promising a future war of destruction against Israel.