The Palestinian Hamas group has come out with a new policy document that accepts the formation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, without recognising the state of Israel and terms that the conflict in Palestine is not a religious one.
With this initiative, Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza strip since 2007 hopes to end its years of international isolation. Khaled Meshaal, the leader-in-exile of Hamas has re-branded itself as an Islamic national movement thus ending its association with the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity…Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be formula of national consensus,” the document reads.But it does not go as far as to full recognise Israel and says Hamas does not relinquish its goal of “liberating all of Palestine.”
After Hamas defeated Fatah in Palestinian territories controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian President has been trying to pressurize Hamas by exerting financial pressure, including cutting wage payments and aid to Gaza.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2007 and has carried out executed attacks in Israel and Israeli-occupied territories.
The Rafah border crossing, which links Egypt with Gaza, is the main entry and exit point for two million Palestinians who live under Israeli siege to enter the Strip. It has been sealed by Egyptian authorities since October 2014.
This move may allow Hamas to mend ties with Western countries and pave the way for reconciliation deal with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation headed by Abbas.