Haniyeh: We crossed the river and will not turn back

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Head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, wrote an article on the front page of the Al-Quds local newspaper, which is the most widely distributed in the Palestinian territories.

Haniyeh talked about Hamas’ vision for the upcoming elections, the concessions it made to reach them, and the following arrangement for the Palestinian.

Besides, He stressed the role of the Palestinians of the diaspora in the Palestinian struggle and the importance of their participation in the Palestinian decision-making.

Also, Haniyeh spoke about the internal elections for Hamas movement, which ended in Gaza a few days ago.

Full article:

We crossed the river and we will not turn back

Written by Ismail Haniyeh

Head of the political bureau of Hamas

We are currently participating in the Cairo dialogue with our brothers in the Fatah movement and the rest of the factions and national figures, and our delegation is armed with a decision and will that does not hesitate to achieve a comprehensive agreement. I, from my humble position in the presidency of Hamas, and through direct conversation with all our Palestinian people, I liked detailing the situation and vision that we are going with in this promising road towards unity, partnership, and resistance.

The Hamas movement sets a crucial goal for its continuous struggle against the Zionist occupation to liberate our people from the shackles of the occupier, extract its right to liberate all of its Palestinian land, enable its to determine its fate and live freely and with dignity on their liberated land, in its Palestinian state, which eternal capital is Jerusalem, and to build its political system on the basis of justice and democracy. Since elections are one of the forms of people exercising the freedom to choose their representatives in various bodies, institutions, and leadership positions, Hamas has made elections and democratic practice as one of the principles of its political work, whether within the movement itself or in its interaction with the Palestinian political situation. Our people followed the internal elections, which ended their first stage in Gaza, and how the movement demonstrated its commitment to the periodic elections, fair competition, and respect for the will of its people in choosing consultative and executive institutions, as well as it did in prisons and it will continue to do so in the West Bank and abroad.

Hamas considers strengthening national unity and ending Fatah-Hama conflict as an essential entry point for maximizing Palestinian self-power and rallying the forces of the Arab and Islamic nations to confront the Zionist project, especially in this period when regional and international powers desire to legitimize the occupation entity to be a hegemonic state in the region.

The goal of Hamas movement desire to hold elections is based on activating the role of the Palestinian people in all places of its presence in choosing the leadership that represents it and believes that it is capable to achieve its goals and aspirations.

The movement also believes that the participation of all our people in Gaza and the West Bank and in the diaspora in the electoral process will return our Palestinian people to the center of national action.

Hamas participated from an early age in the union and student electoral process, believing in the centrality of the idea of selection through the ballot box. Besides, Hamas took positive positions in the various elections called for by the Palestinian Authority and participated in the municipal elections in 2005 and achieved great results, and won the majority of seats in the Legislative Council in 2006. Hamas affirmed its deep belief in the electoral process and the ability of the Palestinian people to practice democracy in its best form.

Hamas has always called for elections and considered them an important way to end the Fatah-Hamas conflict, and with the start of a discussion about the elections again in late 2019, Hamas presented a set of political and media positions that opened the way for the possibility of holding elections. The Palestinian factions, forces, and community institutions highly appreciated the movement’s positive stances. Although the Palestinian factions presented an initiative known as the Eight Factions initiative in September 2019, which was approved by Hamas, the process did not start for reasons that I am not mentioning, despite the urgent need to unify the Palestinian position, as the US pressure to liquidate the Palestinian cause were at the most extreme, Hamas’ position on the elections remained positive, until new circumstances were formed. The movement, as usual, advanced with wide steps and showed flexibility, opening wide horizons for the launch of the electoral process and the issuance of election decrees, so that the priority remains to rearrange the Palestinian house and unify the efforts of our people in confronting the mounting challenges facing the Palestinian cause.

With the start of the elections, Hamas insisted that it be preceded by a serious and responsible national dialogue, laying out a well-planned schedule for completing the electoral process in its three stages (the Legislative Council, the Presidency, and the National Council), and overcoming the obstacles that could hinder this national path. Everyone should assume his historical responsibilities by the necessity of achieving national elections that empower the Palestinian citizens to exercise their inherent right to choose their representatives in the various representative and leadership bodies, and preventing in any way to confiscate their will and options or contradict their free orientations. Hamas responsibly and faithfully applied all that is required of it from the outputs of the first round of dialogues. We also express our satisfaction with the positive spirit of the brothers in the leadership of the Fatah movement, which represents the other wrist that opened the door to reach this stage. Hamas is fully prepared to complete these dialogues and implement what is nationally agreed to reach the completion of a democratic wedding that our Palestinian people deserve.

Hamas wants these elections to be an entry point for a complete arrangement of the Palestinian home, rebuilding a Palestinian political system that responds to the challenges that constantly haunt the Palestinian situation, and accommodate the strength of our people in Gaza, the West Bank, and in the diaspora based on unity, partnership, and integration. Thus, permanently, ending the state of division and preventing any subsequent political disagreement in the Palestinian institutions in a way, but to create a political system which can effectively absorb the differences and disagreements that may arise, and deal with the changes affecting the political situation at the level of behavior and institutions.

From these elections, Hamas also aims to constitute an entry point to unify the efforts of the Arab and Islamic nations towards the Palestinian cause and neutralize the dangers of the serious strategic exposure that the region is experiencing, by stopping the state of normalization with the Israeli occupation at the expense of the rights of our people and our Islamic and Christian sanctities.

To achieve the national goals from these elections, Hamas has determined its preferred option for the form of its participation in the legislative elections, which is to enter into a unified national list that includes the widest national political spectrum based on preserving the national constants, represented by the National Accord Document and the outcomes of the General Secretaries ’meeting, and then to form a national unity government that every faction participates in it, even those forces that did not participate in the elections for the Legislative Council, so that this government manages the rest of the electoral process, supervises the removal of all residues of the Fatah-Hamas conflict, and adopts a path for real internal reconciliation that includes all the Palestinian factions.

It is not possible to talk about arranging and solidifying the Palestinian situation without including all the components of our people throughout its presence and spread in all places of refuge and diaspora, and it cannot be accepted that this be limited to our people inside Palestine only, as the Palestinian diaspora is an integral part who have paid the tax of their displacement from their land for decades and they are at the heart of the issue of the sacred right of return, and they constitute one of the most dangerous aspects of the conflict with the occupation. Therefore, the clear position always comes from the Hamas movement that the elections should come as the beginning of the rebuilding of the Palestine Liberation Organization on democratic foundations and the renewal of its institutions based on partnership to include all factions of our people as representatives of all the Palestinians, and to manage the political conflict with the occupation.

With the completion of the process of building the political system at the level of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization through the election portal, we move as Palestinians, factions, forces, elected institutions, and community forces to the most important stage, which constitutes one of the goals of the various electoral processes, which is the formulation of a comprehensive, unified, and integrated struggle strategy to achieve the goals of our people in liberation and return. This strategy is based on the principle of resistance in its various forms by using the military resistance and all the available tools of struggle to our people, focusing on popular resistance at this stage, in which responsibilities are distributed and the capabilities of each party and institution are taken into account to form in the end a melting pot of the energies of our people, whose true ability is trusted to achieve the goals and aspirations of our Palestinian people.

Based on all this, Hamas sees the general elections in its various stages a serious national path and an available space for arranging the Palestinian situation in a truly participatory manner, in which the will of the people is the regulator, so we will work as we did in all stages to complete this path, and provide all the necessary steps and we will reject every step that disrupts or obstructs this path.

There is a debate among some of the political elites about the effectiveness of the elections, is it an entry point to end the Fatah-Hamas conflict and the agreement, or is it a result of that? Every opinion has its merits, but in the situation we are living in, we do not necessarily take the traditional position, especially since we have tried since the beginning of the division all the options and methods, so let the elections be an entry and a means, and certainly for an end that is beyond the elections themselves.

Our task today is not limited to how this path is going, but rather how this path succeeds, and we are in Hamas proceeding with sincerity and commitment in implementing all that is agreed upon. We have now crossed the river and do not turn back.

Source : Safa