(JNS.org) In response to its international isolation, the Palestinian terror group Hamas has undertaken a new political program in an attempt to present a “more moderate image,” aiming to improve relations with Western countries and neighboring states such as Egypt, The Associated Press reported.
In its new manifesto, Hamas has removed references to a holy war against Jews and includes the possibility of accepting a Palestinian state created along the 1967 lines in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem.
The document fails to clarify, however, what would be considered an effective end to the terror group’s conflict with the Jewish state, and does not include any reference regarding official recognition of Israel.
The manifesto also downplays the terror group’s ties to its parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is classified as a terror organization by the Egyptian government.
Hamas’s new political program is due to be made public toward the end of March, but will not officially replace the organization’s 1988 founding covenant, which includes anti-Semitic language and explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction—asserting the need to confront the “usurpation of Palestine by the Jews through jihad.”
Hamas official Salah Bardawil confirmed to The Associated Press the document has been approved and represents “the culmination of political experiments the movement has experienced through its history.”
Gaza analyst Akram Atallah said the document does not represent any significant shift in policy, saying it “carries a kind of superficial change, but in fact it upholds most of Hamas’s principles.”