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Of course, it’s not surprising that Hamas rejected the authority of Abbas to terminate Haniya from his position as prime minister. As Haniya explained in a speech given in October 2006, Hamas’s power is derived from a much higher source:
We [derive our] legitimacy from the legitimacy of the jihad. We are a government born from the womb of the resistance, from the womb of the martyrs… We are a government that comes out of resistance and jihad, and out of the desire for resistance and jihad against the Zionist occupation.
They have tried to pressure Hamas to abandon resistance and to abandon arms. They tried to pressure Hamas to abandon its strategic choice in Palestine, all of Palestine. They tried to pressure Hamas to recognize the legitimacy of the occupation. But they failed… We say Hamas will not change its constant principles.
The constants and the strategy of Hamas do not change according to circumstances. Hamas will stay faithful to jihad, to resistance, to guns, to Palestine and to Jerusalem.
Throughout his tenure, Haniya has consistently preached this death cult mentality to his enthusiastic followers in Gaza. In 2010, he said on Hamas-controlled Al Aqsa TV:
We are a mujahid nation, a nation that makes sacrifices, a nation of Jihad. Our cries are of Jihad for the sake of Allah. This is a nation of martyrdom and martyrdom-seeking, a nation of Jihad for the sake of Allah.
Moreover, according to Haniya, the dictates of Allah precluded the possibility of Hamas ever deviating from a jihadist course:
The strategic option of Jihad was determined by Allah for this nation.
At no time may Muslims – especially under occupation – negotiate whether there should or shouldn’t be resistance or Jihad. This cannot be discussed by a group of believers, a Muslim people, especially a people under occupation. This is inconceivable. We have no choice in this matter. The strategic option was determined when the first arrow was shot, the first spear cast, and the first bullet fired.
More than just a religious imperative, Haniya preaches that the importance of terrorism as a strategy lies in the fact that it works so well on Jews, who, unlike the Palestinians, “love life more than any other people, and they prefer not to die.”
Americans, too, are the objects of Haniya’s murderous hatred. In May 2011, he delivered a heartfelt statement on the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden:
We believe that this continues an American policy that is based on oppression and on the shedding of Arab and Muslim blood. Regardless of the different views in Arab and Islamic circles, we, of course, condemn the assassination or killing of a Muslim mujahid and an Arab. We pray for Allah to cover him with His mercy, next to the prophets, the righteous, and the martyrs.
As recently as December 2011, at a rally marking the 24th anniversary of Hamas’s founding, Haniya issued a call for the formation of an Arab army “to liberate Jerusalem and the Aksa mosque.” Haniya then further stoked the fury of the cheering crowd of 350,000 crazed Palestinians by intoning:
Resistance is the way and it is a strategic choice to liberate Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and to remove the invaders from the blessed land of Palestine.
We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the River [Jordan]. God willing, Hamas will lead the people… to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine.
Haniya’s exhortation came a year to the day after he made similar remarks at a rally in 2010. The statements leave no question that the murderous pursuit of “Palestine” has nothing to do with the occupation of Palestinian territories, but the entire existence of Israel itself:
[T]he occupation has no future on the land of Palestine. When I say “the land of Palestine,” I am not referring [only] to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem. When I say that the occupation has no future on the land of Palestine, I refer to Palestine from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, and from Rosh Honiara to Rafah.
The occupation will not survive on this land. Never!
And while the decades-long campaign to wipe Israel off the map has yet to succeed, rest assured that a younger generation of Palestinians is being methodically groomed to finish the task. As Haniya mused in 2007:
The generation that is fighting the Zionists today and that started the first and second intifadas is a young, highly motivated generation. This is the generation that will free Palestine.
With figures like Haniya leading the way, many more generations of Palestinians will likely be lost.
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