Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is expected to unveil its new charter Monday and provisions ending the call for Jewish extermination, but pulling up short of recognizing Israel.
The new charter will accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, the borders which existed before the Six-Day War, according to Haaretz. The charter will charge Israel with stealing away Palestinian rights, and will continue the call for Palestinians to return to lands inside Israel. It will also cut ties with its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas’ original 1988 charter called for the destruction of all Jews, in addition to Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh, the deputy head of Hamas’ political wing told attendees at an event that “the new document will undermine neither our principles nor our strategy. Jerusalem, the right of return, Palestinian unity and the resistance forces are fundamental principles.”
“The changes related to regional developments, and suit the era,” said Haniyeh.
Hamas sources told Haaretz that the unveiling of the new document was purposefully timed with President Donald Trump’s interest in restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump will meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas later this week, where the two leaders are expected to discuss peace negotiations.
Hamas’ new charter has already been met with some skepticism by Israeli leadership.
“Hamas is attempting to fool the world but it will not succeed,” David Keyes, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Reuters. “They dig terror tunnels and have launched thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians. This is the real Hamas.”
Some U.S. lawmakers shared Israel’s doubts as to the true intentions of Hamas. Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said actions are more important than words when it comes to the Palestinian terror group.
“Until Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist, its words are meaningless,” Royce, a California Republican, said in a statement. “I will see to it that Hamas remains designated a terrorist organization as long as it continues to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, remains an Iranian proxy, and engages in other acts that threaten the U.S. and Israel.”
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