In an interview with an Italian newspaper, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said that Hamas “will not compromise on one inch of Greater Palestine (meaning Israel).”
Referring to the possible co-existence of Israel with a Palestinian state, al-Zahar says,
“It can be a temporary solution, for a maximum of 5 to 10 years. But in the end Palestine must return to become Muslim, and in the long term Israel will disappear from the face of the earth.”
According to al-Zahar,
“The problem will be afterwards, because in the hearts of every Palestinian, the liberation of Gaza must be accompanied by the liberation of Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
Well at least Mr. al-Zahar is not ambiguous. He makes very clear the intent of Hamas. Whatever arrangements are made with Mr. Abbas will not deter Hamas from attacking Israel in the future, and Hamas has the intent of destroying Israel and “liberating” Jerusalem.
The “Roadmap to Peace in the Middle East” will not work unless all parties agree to its intent. Israel should insist on the PA fulfilling its commitment to disarm and dismember Hamas, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Palestine Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups before Israel withdraws from Gaza.
Of course, my personal belief is that it is a mistake for Israel to withdraw from Gaza. The withdrawal is causing tremendous internal dissension in Israel, turning Jew against Jew, and, more importantly, it will not lead to peace. It only leaves Israel more vulnerable to the attacks that are sure to come from terrorist groups like Hamas.
At some point in time Israel is going to need to take her defense into her own hands and do what is necessary to prevent future attacks on her citizens. Is there another Moshe Dayan?