Hamas stresses new political document does not change its founding charter: calling for Israel’s destruction

Mahmoud al-Zahar, one of the most senior officials of the Palestinian Hamas organization, which controls the Gaza Strip, rejected allegations that a document published last week by the Islamist group was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel’s destruction. Speaking in Gaza City, al-Zahar, a regular critic of the Jewish state, declared that even though the new political policy document, which was announced in Qatar on May 1st by Hamas’ outgoing chief Khaled Mesha’al, appeared to be an attempt to soften the organization’s language toward Israel, but still called for “the liberation of all of historical Palestine,” did not contradict its founding covenant, which was published in 1988, as it continues to urge Palestinians in particular and Muslims in general to wage an armed resistance against the Jewish rule in the land of Israel.
“We will not compromise one millimeter, or any less measures, of Palestine because that is part of our constant unchangeable religion. Therefore, there is no contradiction between what we said in the document and the pledge we have made to God,” said al-Zahar.
The political document also said it agrees to a transitional Palestinian state within frontiers pre-dating the 1967 Middle East war, a stance long adopted by Hamas’ Western backed rivals, the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas. Nevertheless, when asked on the matter, al-Zahar emphasized that believing that Hamas would accept the 67′ borders is an offence against the Islamist organization, while emphasizing that no inch of land would ever be recognized as part of Israel, as Hamas will never accept a Jewish ruler on, what the Muslim religion decrees as, ‘Muslim lands’. 
“When people say that Hamas has accepted the 1967 borders, like others, it is an offence to us. Why? because that contradicts our beliefs and our political stance and our political leadership.” / “We have reaffirmed the unchanging constant principles that we do not recognize Israel. What do we mean by not recognizing Israel? The state is land, nation and authority. We do not recognize that the land occupied in 1948 belongs to Israel, this is our religion (Islam), and we do not recognize that the people who came here (Jews) own this land,” continued al-Zahari.
The statement by the senior Hamas official confirmed allegations by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who rejected international reports that Hamas softened its stance toward Israel, pointing to several of the documents’ paragraphs that explicitly revoke Israel’s right to exist.
“The new Hamas document says that Israel has no right to exist it says every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians it says there is no acceptable solution other than to remove Israel so why does Hamas say there’s a consensus for a smaller Palestinian state now in order to destroy Israel,” said Netanyahu.