On June 4, 2013, Yehya Moussa, a Hamas deputy in the Legislative Council, wrote on his Facebook page that Hamas should hand over the management of the Gaza Strip to a national body to devote itself to resistance and national liberation. Even though Moussa made clear that his call was just his personal opinion, what he said caused a controversy.
Hamas members do not usually make statements expressing their personal opinions. They are known for partisan loyalty and a unified discourse even in the most difficult circumstances. But recently, it has become more common for them to give their personal opinions whenever they talk about the movement’s future and the conflict with Israel. They have made contradictory statements such as: a binational state … Palestine from the river to the sea … a state on the 1967 borders … resistance. Those positions were made by Hamas leaders during separate meetings with Al-Monitor on how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Moussa believes that Hamas has been kept busy with tactics at the expense of a strategy for national liberation and resistance.
In a telephone interview with Al-Monitor, he said, “The movement has many responsibilities. The Palestinians are passing through a leadership void, given the absence of a unifying liberation project. At the same time, there is the growing danger of the Israeli occupation. So Hamas must correct the Palestinian liberation track after the Fatah movement’s Oslo legacy and its awful political decisions. … Hamas must not wait on the sidewalk until Fatah decides on whether to allow it to participate in the PLO. Hamas must take over the responsibility and refocus the effort on liberating Jaffa and Haifa and the entire Holy Land. There is a vacuum that Hamas has not filled because it has been busy with governing and with tactics that are not part of a clear vision or strategy to lead and liberate Palestine.”
Ghazi Hamad, who works at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the Gaza government, told Al-Monitor in an interview in his office that Hamas should blend between resistance and political work, since the two complement each other. “Hamas must seriously consider ways of getting out of the existing situation of ‘no politics, no resistance’ by reformulating the national project with the participation of all political forces and by developing a national strategy that has a strategic vision, not just tactical achievements,” he added.
He said that resistance should not be Hamas’ only program. “Despite the importance of resistance against occupation, [resistance] is a method, not a goal. In politics, there should be more than one method. We cannot force one method on the people,” he said.
Ahmed Youssef, a Hamas leader and member of the movement’s Shura Council, believes that there are historical rights that cannot be conceded, such as allowing the displaced Palestinians to return to their land; but that there are temporary solutions that reduce tensions, such as establishing a state on the 1967 borders …read more