Hamas doesn't want to annihilate Israel any more, document shows

Palestinian militant group Hamas drops calls for the destruction of Israel in new document

Hamas has dropped calls for Israel's destruction (Stock image)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Palestinian militant group Hamas has dropped calls for the destruction of Israel and distanced itself from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The announcement was made in a policy document which was leaked to media in Arab states and Lebanon.

The document claims Hamas will support the creation of a Palestinian state using the so-called '1967 borders', the territorial boundaries which existed before Israel captured vast swathes of Palestinian territory in the Six-Day War of 1967. The aim is already held by its rival group Fatah, a more moderate organisation which controls the West Bank.

Analysts have couched this as an attempt to make the group appear more reasonable, according to The Independent. Hamas remains a proscribed organisation in several countries, including the US.

However Gulf Arab sources told Reuters that the document released by Hamas is false, as it still rejects the right of Israel to exist and backs fighting against it.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also claimed that Hamas is attempting to fool others around the world with this new document.

He said: "They dig terror tunnels and have launched thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians. This is the real Hamas."

It is not yet clear whether this document will replace the group's charter which was created in 1988, which calls for the destruction of Israel.

The leader of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to visit Washington on Wednesday (May 3) and Donald Trump is expected to push for peace between Palestine and Israel.