The Hamas government in Gaza is still heavily divided over the terror group’s new charter despite celebrations of the announcement of its new document in which the group appeared to have recognized a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and stated that Hamas is not a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood but a national Palestinian liberation movement.
According to a top Hamas source, a number of senior officials in the group, including Mahmoud Al-Zahar (pictured), one of Hamas’s strongmen in the Gaza Strip and some members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, boycotted the ceremony announcing the new charter that was held by video conference between Doha, the capital of Qatar, and Gaza.
Declarations were made by the outgoing leader of the movement Khaled Meshal and new leader Ismail Haniyeh that the charter was adopted by consensus within the movement, but the Hamas source revealed Al-Zahar and a number of other members of the movement were not present at the Commodore Hotel in Gaza were the video link was held. Most of the opposition to the charter is directed at its recognition of a Palestinian state along the ’67 borders.
A source in Hamas told Breitbart Jerusalem that Al-Zahar and others oppose the clause on principle, but mostly fear that the adoption of the charter will cause a rift with Iran, which has already expressed its opposition to the new charter.
The source said that beyond the ideological argument around the 1967 issue, “The fear is the new charter will characterize Hamas not like an opposition movement deserving of Iran’s support, meaning that its likely to harm Iranian funding which is already reduced by two thirds from what it was before the crisis in Syria. In the event of conflict with Israel, we’ll feel the reduction of Iranian payments.”
The source asserted that a division within Hamas is not on the table, “but we can expect that Iran will try to create within Hamas a camp of its own supporters, particularly within the military leadership. Hamas is less interested in the electricity crisis in Gaza, or whether or not the Rafah border crossing is open or closed. Iran’s interest is that, on the day of its order, Hamas will be ready to open a front against Israel and the spirit of the new charter, as far as Iran is concerned, sends a message that Hamas won’t automatically be at Iran’s side in case it needs us.”