On Saturday night, Amad Media, a Palestinian opposition website from Cairo run by exiled Gaza security chief Mohammad Dahlan, published a letter the Palestinian Authority reportedly sent to Washington. In the letter, the PA claims that all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, are have committed to a bilateral agreement with Israel that would create a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem. They committed to limiting themselves to non-violent resistance against Israel.
The letter was reportedly part of a process of reconciliation with the US after the Biden administration entered office and before the Palestinian elections are supposed to take place.
If accurate, the claims made in the letter would have been unprecedented as Hamas has in its “Covenant”, formally known in English as the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement originally issued in 1988 an unwavering and unequivocal call for a violent end to the Jewish presence in the region. Article 13 of the covenant states that “there is no negotiated settlement possible. Jihad is the only answer.” The charter cites sources from the Koran and anti-Semitic tropes to call for violence against Jews everywhere. Hamas has never changed that position.
Elders of Ziyon reported that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gave a speech on Saturday at a “United Against Normalization” conference that was published in the Hamas official media. In the speech, Haniyeh reaffirmed that Hamas was committed to resistance “in all its forms,” a phrase that explicitly includes terrorism, although he did say that these forms also include peaceful and political resistance. Haniyah also explicitly rejected any possibility that Hamas would accept a two-state solution.
It is important to note that the Hamas English-language report of the same speech did not include the phrase “resistance in all its forms,”, And instead of saying “non-recognition of the legitimacy of the occupier” it changed his words to “not give any legitimacy to the occupation,” implying that Hamas is OK with Israel but just not with its control of the lands won in 1967.
The Biden administration re-established contact with the PA after the Palestinians rejected a US-brokered negotiation with Israel under President Trump. The administration has expressed that their agenda will be based on establishing a two-state solution, that is to say, the creation of a Palestinian state inside the boundaries of Israel that is ethnically cleansed of Jews and with its capital in Jerusalem. The PLO Mission in Washington was shut down after the PA brought charges against Israel at the ICC which violated US law in an agreement the PA had made. President Biden is reopening the offices and the ICC is moving forward with the case against Israel.