Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar has dismissed indication by media reports of a change in the Islamic movement’s stance toward anti-Israeli resistance.
The London-based al-Hayat daily newspaper published an article, citing the Hamas leader as describing those launching rocket attacks against Israel as “mutineers against their own factions.”
"First of all, I have not spoken at all to many newspapers recently. Secondly, during meetings over security arrangements, there has been reference to single cases within some factions," Ma’an news agency quoted Zahar as saying on Sunday.
"Our official stance is that any Israel incursion in any area will be dealt with as an incursion whether it is in the north, the south or the center," the Hamas official stated.
Zahar further accused "some media outlets, especially those affiliated to certain factions" of trying to "show that we are adopting a new strategy against resistance comparing us to other factions who abandoned resistance."
Asked about an agreement among Palestinian factions to stop firing projectiles at Israeli targets, Zahar said there were three agreements, one in 2003, one in 2005 and another in 2008 — prior to Israel’s devastating onslaught against the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas leader recalled the breach of a 2008 ceasefire by Israeli forces that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians during the 22-day war on Gaza. He said the Islamic movement abided by the agreements, but reserved the right to respond to Israeli incursions.
Zahar criticized media affiliated with the rival Fatah party for attempting to present Hamas as an "exact reproduction of Fatah when they used to confiscate weapons of resistance fighters and jail [them] using the excuse of agreements with Israel."
"Hamas is not a reproduction of Fatah and will not follow in their footsteps," he stated.