Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

What’s Really Wrong with the Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation

Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization-led Palestinian Authority (PA) reached an agreement to rule in a unified, brotherly kleptocracy.  Wonderful.

As Hamas is a genocidal Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization, Israel announced it would not negotiate with the Hamas-PLO hydra. The US was more patient, announcing that the PA has to disarm Hamas, Hamas has to recognize Israel, and they both have to adhere to all previous PA commitments, including negotiating with Israel.

Hamas responded as it must, if it is not to renounce its very raison d’etre. The jihadist organization’s spokesman said the United States was “blatantly interfering in matters that belong only to the Palestinian people. We have the right to choose a government that is suitable for the Palestinians.”

Who can argue with that? Hamas and Fatah – like all dictators – give themselves the right to choose how they will dispose of their subjects. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas last faced elections in 2005, so he is now in year 12 of a four-year term. Hamas last ran for election in the PA in 2006 and, after throwing Fatah supporters from a few rooftops in Gaza, has not asked the Palestinians their opinion again.

On the other hand, the Palestinian people, such as it is, did in fact freely elect Hamas in 2006 in a landslide. That is, via elections deemed kosher by none other than Jimmy Carter, they overwhelmingly sided with genocidal Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.

One assumes they therefore approve of the response to the Trump Administration offered by Yahya Sinwar, the second-highest ranking frontline terrorist in Hamas: “The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”

But how can it be otherwise? The preamble to the Hamas Charter states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

However, as the charter makes clear, it is not just Israel that is a problem for Hamas: “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. ‘May the cowards never sleep.’” (Article 28) In line with this, the charter directly quotes Islam’s founder, Muhammad, as per a solidly authoritative Islamic religious text (Sahih Muslim, “Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa’a”, ch. 16, no. 6985): “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him’.” (Article 7)

How could the PLO-led PA – created in a paroxysm of peace-making in the 1990s – join these folks in a coalition?


They are on the precisely same page when it comes to the end goal vis-a-vis Israel.

Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras, an official Palestinian Authority preacher, quoted the same text as appears in the Hamas charter and added:  “Rejoice in Allah’s Victory…. Everything wants vengeance on the Jews… these pigs on the face of the earth. And the day of our victory, Allah willing, will come.”

So, if in matters of religious sources of genocidal hatred of Jews the PA and Hamas agree, then where do they differ?

The Hamas charter declares that “so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement [i.e., Hamas]….” (Article 13)

In contrast, the PLO’s main faction, Fatah, to which Mahmoud Abbas belongs, published a manifesto in 2002 in which the group explains that “a legitimate Palestinian entity forms the most important weapon that Arabs have against Israel, the outpost of the imperialist powers.” The celebratory article states, “Fatah believes that the Zionist movement constitutes the biggest threat against not only the Palestinian national security, but also against the security of the Arab world.” Eliminating this threat, apparently, can best be accomplished through the establishment of a Palestinian state.

More recently, in a 2016 interview with the PA-controlled Ma’an news agency, Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said: “Palestine stretches from the river to the sea… a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, is just a phase, as far as I am concerned.”

Which is perfectly aligned with the 1974 “Plan of Stages” officially adopted by the PLO: “The Palestine Liberation Organization will employ all means, and first and foremost armed struggle, to liberate Palestinian territory and to establish the independent combatant national authority for the people over every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated. …Once it is established, the Palestinian national authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity.”

That’s it. The dispute between Hamas and Fatah, then, is over what is most effective: suicide bombings or a Palestinian state? (And, of course, over who controls the billions of dollars flowing into the PA coffers from overseas.)

The way I see it now, the problem with the Fatah-Hamas accord is that they might stop throwing each other’s activists in jail (or off rooftops) long enough to coordinate towards a strategy they both agree on: exterminating the Jewish State (and, to be fair to Sunni Islam’s most trusted sources, the Jews as a whole).

About the Author
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz is an experienced marketing communications professional, as well as a published columnist and former senior opinion page editor. He can be reached at
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