Hamas official who advocated for destruction of Israel: We’d accept two-state solution

Khalil al-Hayya’s claim contradicts previous statements he has made about Hamas’s intentions


Khalil al-Hayya has offered mixed messages in recent interviews (Photo: Getty Images)

A senior Hamas official who previously advocated for the complete destruction of Israel has now claimed the terror group would lay down arms for a two-state solution.

Khalil al-Hayya said in an interview the Islamist terror group would dismantle its military wing, transform into a political party and agree to a five-year ceasefire with Israel if a Palestinian state was established along Israel’s pre-1967 borders. However, Al-Hayya also suggested in another interview this would be a temporary arrangement until the State of Israel is destroyed and that Hamas ultimately seeks to claim “all Palestinian lands”.

In an interview with the Associated Press published today, the head of the Qatar-based Hamas negotiating team said the terror group would lay down its weapons and dissolve its armed al-Qassam Brigades miliatry wing, in exchange for “a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the international resolutions,” along Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

“All the experiences of people who fought against 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 said.

Yet, in a separate interview with the Dubai based Asharq News, al-Hayya suggested that such an agreement would be merely a temporary solution and that the Palestinian people retain their “historic right to all Palestinian lands”, the Times of Israel reported.

His latest comments are at odds with previous statements he has made about Hamas’s intentions; following the October 7 massacres, Al-Hayya said the goal had been to ensure “no one in the region is experiencing calm”.

The terror group mandated its stated goal of destroying Israel in its 1988 founding charter, which referred to “the warmongering Jews.” Hamas revised the charter in 2017, claiming its fight was not against Jews, but “the Zionist project”.

Hamas’s political programme officially “rejects any alternative to the full liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea”, referring to the land between Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – which includes the state of Israel.

Al-Hayya also told AP that the group did not regret the October 7 massacre despite the destruction that has subsequently been brought on Gaza.

Speaking to the New York Times in the immediate aftermath of October 7, al-Hayya said that the goal of the attack was to “change the entire equation,” and to ensure that “no one in the region is experiencing calm.”

“This battle was not because we wanted fuel or labourers… It did not seek to improve the situation in Gaza. This battle is to completely overthrow the situation,” the terror chief said at the time.

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