The New York Times reports: Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that has governed the Gaza Strip for a decade, is drafting a new platform to present a more pragmatic and cooperative face to the world, Hamas officials confirmed on Thursday.
The document would represent a departure from the group’s contentious 1988 charter, in which it promised to “obliterate” Israel and characterized its struggle as specifically against Jews. The new document defines Hamas’s enemies as “occupiers.”
“It means that we don’t fight Jews because they are Jews,” said Taher el-Nounou, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza. “Our struggle is only against those who occupied our lands.”
The new document would accept borders of the territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war as the basis for a Palestinian state. It would not recognize Israel, however, nor would it give up future claims to all of what Hamas considers Palestinian lands.
Mr. Nounou said the document, the result of four years of work, is not yet final and has not yet been approved by Hamas’s governing bodies. Nor are its contents wholly new, even though they seem now to carry both practical and symbolic weight, particularly in Hamas’s relations with Egypt. [Continue reading…]