Hamas leader Al-Zahar:
If Hamas were to transfer "what it has [in Gaza]
or just a small part of it to the West Bank,"
it would destroy Israel
"with a speed that no one can imagine"
"We will build an Islamic state in Palestine,
all of Palestine"
New Poll: Hamas leader Haniyeh
would defeat Abbas in elections
in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Haniyeh - 55%, Abbas - 38%
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Last week, Hamas Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar stated that Hamas wants to build an Islamic state in all of Palestine, meaning it would replace Israel:
"[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won't do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine." [Al-Ayyam, Oct. 1, 2014]
Al-Zahar further said that if Hamas had a military foothold in the West Bank as it does in the Gaza Strip, it would be able to destroy Israel. He alluded to a possible future war of destruction against Israel by citing a Sura from the Quran about "the final promise," which speaks of destroying "the enemies" and "what they had taken over with [total] destruction" [Sura 17:7]:
"Al-Zahar said that if his movement [Hamas] were to 'transfer what it has or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise with a speed that no one can imagine.'"
His expression "the final promise" is taken from Sura 17:7 of the Quran: "Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies]... to enter the temple in Jerusalem, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction.'" (trans. Sahih International) By alluding to this passage in the context of Israel, Hamas is promising a future war of destruction against Israel.
A recent Palestinian poll shows that Hamas indeed has a strong base of support in the West Bank. Last week, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research found that were elections to be held now between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Haniyeh would win with 55% support compared to 38% for Abbas. Interestingly, Haniyeh would win with only 50% - 47% in Gaza but on the West Bank Hamas' Haniyeh is even stronger winning 57% to 33% over Abbas:
"If new presidential elections are held today and only two were nominated, Ismail Haniyeh [of Hamas] and Mahmoud Abbas, the former [Haniyeh] would win a majority of 55% (compared to 61% a month ago) and the latter 38% (compared to 32% a month ago). Votes for Abbas and Haniyeh are close in the Gaza Strip with the former receiving 47% and the latter 50%. In the West Bank, Abbas receives 33% and Haniyeh 57%." [http://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/496, Sept. 29, 2014]
The following is a longer excerpt of the report on Al-Zahar's statements about using the Wset Bank to destroy Israel and establishing an Islamic state in place of Israel:
Headline: "Al-Zahar: The Hamas movement will build an Islamic state in all of Palestine"
"Hamas Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar emphasized that Hamas would 'build an Islamic State in all of Palestine.' During a ceremony for the relatives of policemen killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, Al-Zahar said: '[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won't do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine.' Al-Zahar said that if his movement were to 'transfer what it has or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise (an allusion to Sura 17:7 of the Quran) with a speed that no one can imagine.'
He continued by saying: 'We know exactly how to liberate the land of Palestine, and we know how to hit every inch of Palestine with our hands, brains, and money.' Al-Zahar promised 'to protect the resistance project, including all its military, police, security and civilian wings.'
On the [issue of the] PA and the transfer of control of the Gaza Strip to the unity government, he said: 'They relinquished these positions, but we look out for our citizens and our homeland. In no way whatsoever will we allow anyone to harm the resistance project or the dignity of any citizen.'"
[Al-Ayyam, Oct. 1, 2014]