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  • Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Dissinformation and the Hammas Charter

    In covering the elections in Palestine and the subsequent victory of Hamas many commentators have identified as a founding principle of Hamas the "obliteration" of the State of Israel, and some have alluded to the 1988 Hamas Covenant in support of this.

    We thought it a good idea to draw everyone's attention to the text itself, and in as reliable a format as we think available. Please find the link below to an English translation of the Hamas Covenant available at the open source site 'Wikisource'.


    It should be noted that the quotation mentioning the "obliteration" of Israel is a quotation from a Imam Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Mulsim Brotherhood, not of Hamas. While the distinction is small, Hamas states clearly at Article 2 that it considers itself an armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is notable. More importantly, this quotation is not contained in the body of the text of the Covenant (it does not appear in any of the Articles). The significance of this is to be debated, and perhaps only becoming clear when we see the actions of the Hamas leadership over the coming months.

    The Government of the State of Israel, in the run-up to the elections in Palestine, released a statement containing the following:

    "Hamas' charter states clearly that "It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine ... Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it." (Art. 6)"

    The manner of presenting this quotation is at best inaccurate. As you will see, it takes the wording of Article 6 "It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine ..." and joins it with the quotation from the prologue to the Covenant set out above. It then attributes the whole quote to Article 6.

    Nothing said here goes to deny the various statements of Sheikh Yassin and Rantissi indisputably supporting and / or inciting the destruction of Israel, or indeed that there are sections of the Covanent that call for armed "jihad" against "Jews" (Article 7, Article 15). We just thought that on the "obliteration" point, the misquoters should be put right.


    Richard Yorke, Policy Advocate
    The Next Century Foundation