In an interview with the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar set out the compromises the party was willing to make for a unity deal with Fatah, and made clear that unity would not change the party's platform.Is that clear enough for the idiots who think that this was a sign of Hamas moderation?
"Reconciliation does not mean Hamas has changed its agenda," the leader was quoted as saying in the Tuesday report, adding that nor was Fatah bending its own goals to those of Hamas when it signed the document.
Unity would simply set out the framework for a functioning governance structure, Zahhar said, adding that the platforms of each party would be determined by Palestinians, and would be put to the test at the ballot box when elections are called.
There is also evidence of an intra-Hamas rift that has been bubbling up in the Arabic media lately:
The Gaza-based Hamas leader said that while the movement's leader in exile Khalid Mash’al had agreed to give the PA time to negotiate with Israel, he was "speaking on his own," in a decision that had more to do with the unity deal than with Hamas' political position.The Syrian Hamas leadership took exception to this, issuing a statement that Khaled Mashal is the real leader of Hamas and that Zahar has no right to speak on behalf of the movement. Their spokesman, Osama Hamdan, added that Zahar was not part of the original leadership of Hamas and only joined in the late 1980s, and that he was only expressing his own opinion.
Zahhar said the issue was being "seriously reviewed," hinting that Mash'al was out of touch with the priorities of Hamas supporters in the West Bank and Gaza.
Asked if he was hinting that Mash'al should return to Gaza, Zahhar said he made no such intimation, but offered that he believed all those who wished to return to the coastal enclave should do so, including Fatah supporters so long as they were not "involved in the crimes of 2007," he said, referring to the infighting that cemented the division between the factions and led to separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hamas can't even unify itself!