What are the intentions of Hamas towards Israel?

(Photo: Unsplash/Sander Crombach)

Hamas is a Palestinian movement that sees Islam as a way of life and is working to raise the banner of Islam over every inch of Palestine. Indeed, the Hamas charter that underpins the movement presents historical Palestine and Israel as an Islamic land under Islamic law from the sea to the river.

But a parallel goal to the Islamification of the region is to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. Palestinian children are even being educated in schools to kill Israelis.

According to the Hamas Covenant of 1988: ''Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.''

In 2017, it published a revised, "moderated" statement of its aims, changing its language from the Jews to "Zionists", but don't be fooled: its antisemitic intentions remain the same.

In 2019, senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad said: "[There are] seven million Palestinians outside. Enough warming up, you have Jews with you in every place. You should attack every Jew possible in all the world and kill them."

If you think he changed, think again as another video of him surfaced last month telling residents of Jerusalem to buy "five shekel knives" to "cut off the heads of Jews".

In its objectives, Hamas enjoys the support of Iran, which likewise hates Israel and has been supplying Hamas with increasingly sophisticated weapons.

The tactics of Hamas - branded a terrorist organization by the EU and the US - are brutal. It intentionally targets innocent civilians while hiding behind the backs of defenceless Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

According to a 2014 United Nations report: "Hamas's combat strategy guidelines instruct terrorists to use civilians as human shields. This is not a new tactic — it has been the modus operandi of Hamas each and every time it has waged hostilities against Israel."

This has rightly been dubbed a 'double war crime' and it only shows that Hamas does not care about civilians, whether Palestinian or Jewish.

Furthermore, Hamas has historically rejected a peaceful settlement reached through negotiation and it stands against Arab-Israeli peace agreements. It also believes that the solution to the Palestinian issue lies in jihad, begging the question of whether international peace initiatives are all just a waste of time.

Article 13 from the 1988 Hamas Covenant stated: "Peace initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement ... Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam ... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.''

Its updated 2017 document continues to speak of jihad: "Resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine will remain a legitimate right, a duty and an honour for all the sons and daughters of our people and our Ummah."

Another barrier to peace is that Hamas still refuses to recognise the right of Israel to exist.

"The establishment of 'Israel' is entirely illegal and contravenes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and goes against their will and the will of the Ummah; it is also in violation of human rights that are guaranteed by international conventions, foremost among them is the right to self-determination ... There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity," the 2017 document states.

Much has been said about the recent conflict and whether war crimes have been committed by both sides, but if Israel cannot protect its own national security against Hamas terrorists who threaten it with attacks, peace will not prevail in the Middle East.

Unlike Hamas, with its tradition of targeting civilians in Israel and using Gazans as human shields, Israel is exercising its natural and legitimate right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorists who commit double war crimes.

Contrary to this, Hamas is a terrorist organization that stands against peace between the Palestinians and Israel, and is a movement supported by forces like Iran that undermine stability in the Middle East.

The path to achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace begins with disarming, demilitarizing and dissolving Hamas and cutting off all support for it.