Q. Is the Hamas Covenant defunct?

A. Yes. It has largely been defunct since the 2006 elections. Please see between the tear lines.

Hamas experts acknowledge the covenant is defunct

In an article I wrote about the Hamas Covenant in August of 2014, ‘Hamas Charter (Covenant) Explained‘ I quote Hamas expert Khaled Hroub where he wrote in the summer of 2008:

Abu Marzouk, senior official from Hamas who claimed the Hamas Charter or Covenant is 'defunct'. Image Credit: Investigative Project.

Abu Marzouk, senior official from Hamas who claimed the Hamas Charter or Covenant is ‘defunct’. Image Credit: Investigative Project.

“Since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, its political positions as presented in the Western media hark back to its 1988 charter, with almost no reference to its considerable evolution under the impact of political developments. The present article analyzes (with long verbatim extracts) three recent key Hamas documents: its fall 2005 electoral platform, its draft program for a coalition government, and its cabinet platform as presented on 27 March 2006.

Analysis of the documents reveals not only a strong programmatic and, indeed, state building emphasis, but also considerable nuance in its positions with regard to resistance and a two-state solution. The article pays particular attention to the sectarian content of the documents, finding a progressive de-emphasis on religion in the three.”

The Army War College acknowledges the Hamas covenant is defunct

From the Army War College, in December of 2008, Dr. Sherifa D. Zuhur writes:

“HAMAS emerged as the chief rival to the secularist-nationalist framework of Fatah, the dominant member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This occurred as Palestinians rebelled against the worsening conditions they experienced following the Oslo Peace Accords. HAMAS’ political and strategic development has been both ignored and misreported in Israeli and Western sources which villainizes the group, much as the PLO was once characterized as an anti-Semitic terrorist group. Relatively few detailed treatments in English counter the media blitz that reduces HAMAS to its early, now defunct, 1988 charter.”

Hamas leaders acknowledge the covenant is defunct

On August 15th, 2014 Giles Fraser reports for the Guardian:

“Yes, the Hamas charter, drawn up in 1988, explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel. Yes, it is antisemitic. But nonetheless, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has claimed that the charter is “a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons”. And Hamas number two, Mousa Abu Marzouk (with a PhD from Louisiana Tech), has gone ever further and called it “defunct”: “The charter is not the Qur’an. It can be amended.” Maybe sincere, maybe not. But you don’t get the impression that Isis would say anything like this. Nor indeed that Isis would be interested in participating in any sort of democratic process – remember Hamas won elections in the Gaza Strip in 2006.”

Abu Marzouk also caused a stir within Hamas in the second week of September 2014 when he said Sharia law did not forbid direct negotiations with Israel. Haaretz reported:

The Hamas policy of not negotiating directly with Israel is “not sharia law” and could be relaxed, a senior official of the organization said on Thursday.

“Just as it’s possible to negotiate while fighting, it’s possible to negotiate by talking,” said Moussa Abu Marzouk in an interview with Al Quds TV.

“Up to now, our policy has been not to negotiate directly with Israel, but … we’re not talking about something that is forbidden according to sharia law.”

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Michael Hess

Michael Hess

I started writing and editing BBSNews in 1990. Before the 'web, back in the Bulletin Board System (BBS) days. My pursuit of factual and reality based information informs my worldview. The ever evolving BBSNews contains New Mexico news, national and international news, politics, space, foreign policy and in particular; news and facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See our About Us page for more details.