update deskIsrael at War

Hamas ‘is an idea’ Israel can’t destroy, PA prime minister says

“Hamas is in the West Bank, in Lebanon and Syria,” said Mohammad Shtayyeh. “Hamas leadership is in Qatar and everywhere.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh attends the inauguration of a municipal water project in northern Samaria, Sept. 3, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh attends the inauguration of a municipal water project in northern Samaria, Sept. 3, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that Israel won’t be able to destroy the terror group Hamas because “it’s an idea” with adherents beyond the Gaza Strip.

“The Israelis don’t want any ceasefire because today, the Israelis are in the mood of revenge—genocide and revenge—collective killing for the sake of killing,” Shtayyeh told France24.

“The goals that they are setting—they will never reach these goals,” he said. “Because … Hamas is an idea.”

“Hamas is in the West Bank, in Lebanon and Syria. Hamas leadership is in Qatar and everywhere,” he said. “To say that the goal is to eliminate Hamas is totally not going to happen.”

Israel has stated that its war goal is to topple Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as military and political entities. Hamas representatives have repeatedly declared that they seek the complete destruction of the Jewish state.

The Palestinian Authority has shown a reluctance to denounce the murderous attacks on Oct. 7, which led to the massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, and the capture of as many as 240 hostages. Senior P.A. officials have openly supported Hamas’s actions.

Nevertheless, the authority is reportedly the Biden administration’s first choice for taking over the Gaza Strip following the removal of Hamas, which has been the authority’s main political rival.

The solution “must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a G7 meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Abbas agreed to take control of Gaza after Hamas falls, reported The New York Times, on the condition that the White House commits to promoting the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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