Author: JPOST.COM STAFF
Posted on March 27, 2017
Hamas political bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal gave a speech in Doha, Qatar on Monday, honoring Mazen Fuqaha, a senior leader of its armed wing, who the movement claimed Israel assassinated over the weekend.
“If Israel changes the rules of the game… we accept the challenge,” Mashaal stated, explaining that though there are varying branches inside the movement they all work together for one common cause.
“We don’t care if there is an imbalance of power; our will is more powerful than their force. Our will and beliefs are more powerful than their weapons,” Mashaal, who is slated to step down in the coming year, stated.
In the coming year, Hamas is also expected to release a new updated charter, in which is said to address the issue of anti-Semitism that is present in the movement’s original charter, which was released in 1988. Despite the release of the updated charter Mashaal remained clear that armed resistance would remain a fundamental strategy for the movement.
“The movement partakes in politics and diplomacy as well as other types of work, but it is insistent on the choice of Jihad,” Mashaal stated.
“This is the movement’s greater and first strategy, yet Hamas is developing its political ideas and its political performance.”
“Hamas is not conceding one bit of its national principals and on the rights of its people. This is the strategy of Hamas, this is Hamas,” the leader stated.
Though Hamas has attributed Fuqaha’s assassination to Israel, no Israeli official has commented on the incident.
The Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry closed the Erez crossing until further notice on Sunday.
“The closure of the Beit Hanoun [Erez] crossing comes as a part of the steps being taken by the security apparatus following the crime of assassinating Mazen Fuqaha,” Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Bazm said.
Nonetheless, Bazm later clarified that “humanitarian cases” will be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip. Erez is the only pedestrian crossing between Israel and Gaza.
Some 138 Gazans, including patients seeking medical treatment and their companions, were denied entry to Israel on Sunday because of the closure, World Health Organization staff in Gaza said.
Hamas security forces are also preventing Gazan fishermen from going out to sea, the official PA news site Wafa reported. There are approximately 4,000 fishermen in the Strip, most of whom depend on fishing as their primary source of income.
Fuqaha was killed in front of his home in Gaza City’s southern Tel al-Hawa neighborhood late Friday. Hours after the assassination, the Interior Ministry said the parties behind it are “unknown,” adding that the local security services opened an investigation.