The Palestinian Authority (PA) claims that Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have renounced terrorism and accepted Israel's right to exist.
Hamas and the Palestinian factions, however, say this is not true and that they remain committed to "all forms of resistance" against Israel, including an "armed struggle." They are also stressing that they have not recognized Israel's right to exist and are determined to pursue the fight "until the liberation of all of Palestine," from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Hamas and its allies, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are actually saying that the PA leadership is lying when it says that the terror groups have changed their attitude toward Israel.
This raises the question: Who exactly is the PA leadership lying to and why? The answer: The PA is lying to the international community, specifically US President Joe Biden's administration.
According to the Palestinian news website Amad, the PA's Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestinian General Authority for Civil Affairs and member of the ruling Fatah faction headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, recently sent a letter to the Biden administration concerning the purported changes in the policies of the Palestinian terror groups.
In the letter, al-Sheikh said that all Palestinian "political" factions, including Hamas, agreed to lay down their arms and accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Al-Sheikh wrote that the alleged agreement was reached during a meeting of leaders of several Palestinian factions in September 2020. "The following consensus were reached by all political factions," he said.
The first implies that the Palestinian terror groups, which do not recognize Israel's right to exist, are ready to accept a Palestinian state only in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Moreover, it implies that the terror groups are no longer seeking the "liberation of all of Palestine" and replacing Israel with an Islamist state.
The second "commitment" implies that Hamas, PIJ and the remaining terror groups now favor a "peaceful" resistance against Israel instead of various forms of terrorism, including rockets, stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks.
Yet statements made by leaders of the Palestinian terror groups in the past few days clearly contradict the contents of the letter sent by the PA leadership to the Biden administration.
The leaders of the terror groups are sending the following message to the Biden administration and the rest of the world: Do not believe the PA leadership. We have not changed our policies toward Israel.
Hamas issued a statement on February 25 in which it denied that the group had changed its attitude toward Israel. "Our political and national positions are well known and clear," Hamas said. "They are expressed in our official documents and publications. We remain committed to the resistance until the liberation [of all of Palestine]."