If Occupation Ends, We Will Not Need Armed Resistance – Top Hamas Official

Top Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya during his interview with AP. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya has said that the movement is ready to agree on a long truce with Israel if Palestine becomes a fully sovereign state and Palestinian refugees are allowed to return.

During an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, al-Hayya said that Israel has no option but a political solution, since it did not manage to dismantle Hamas. 

“Israel has hit the Resistance with great blows, but has not ended it, and they say so,” al-Hayya said. 

“They have not destroyed more than 20 percent of Hamas’ capabilities, neither human nor in the field. If they can’t finish Hamas off, what is the solution? The solution is political,” he added.

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Moreover, al-Hayya said that even if Israel was able to destroy Hamas, it would fail to prevent any future Palestinian uprisings. 

“Let’s say that they have destroyed Hamas. Are the Palestinian people gone?” he asked.

State and Right of Return

Al-Hayya said that the movement would accept a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West bank and Gaza, along with the return of Palestinian refugees, as enshrined in international law. 

“We have repeatedly offered the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and the return of the refugees in accordance with the international resolutions that have engaged in this regard,” al-Hayya stated.

Moreover, he explained how the goal of armed Resistance is the liberation of Palestine. Therefore, Hamas would transform into a political party and its armed wing would turn into a national army should Palestine become an independent state.

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“At present, what is the function of our weapons? Resistance and struggle have the function of removing the occupation,” al-Hayya said.

“All the experiences of people who have fought against the occupiers, when they became independent and obtained their rights and their state, what have these forces done? They have turned into political parties and their defending fighting forces have turned into the national army,” he added.

“If we take our national rights and the value of the Palestinian state, everything we own will become a basic structure for this state.”

Al-Hayya reiterated that Hamas would agree on a long ceasefire if these conditions are met. 

“We will live in a state and establish and agree on a ceasefire and a truce of five years or more in order to live in security,” he said.

Ceasefire Talks

Al-Hayya denied allegations by US and Israeli officials that Hamas is not serious about a deal.

The top official said that “Hamas has made concessions regarding the number of Palestinian prisoners it wants released in exchange for the remaining Israeli hostages,” AP reported, noting that “the group does not know exactly how many hostages remain in Gaza and are still alive.”

Al-Hayya reiterated that the only condition to discuss the return of Israeli prisoners is a permanent ceasefire. 

“If we are not assured the war will end, why would I hand over the prisoners?” he wondered.

‘Permanent Ceasefire is Key’ – Hamas on Negotiations with Israel

Hamas’ leader also rejected the idea of outside forces being stationed around a floating pier in Gaza. 

“We categorically reject any non-Palestinian presence in Gaza, whether at sea or on land, and we will deal with any military force present in these places, Israeli or otherwise … as an occupying power,” he said.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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