New Hamas program softens language, but some goals remain

Hamas to amend founding charter in bid to end isolation

Abbas has been in power since 2005, and new elections were blocked partly because of a rivalry with the Hamas militant group. Hamas' attempts to become more moderate by ending ties with the Muslim Brotherhood is not "the real Hamas", the spokesman claimed.

The wording also appears in the new charter.

In the original charter drafted in 1988, a year after its founding, Hamas called for the destruction of Israel and the Palestinian takeover of all Israeli territory.

The rival Palestinian governments have been at loggerheads since a civil war in 2007, when Hamas expelled the Palestinian Authority from Gaza.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The new political program of Hamas, published Monday, is meant to help the Islamic militant group break out of its global isolation.

The 1967 borders refer to those that existed before the war in which Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Mashaal is to step down as Hamas leader later this month.

Hamas, Mashal said, "will not give up any parcel of Palestinian land and strives to liberate all of the Palestinian lands", which they consider to include all of Israel, and they are "willing to negotiate a sovereign and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital" while demanding full right of return for Palestinians.

But while the document could strengthen Hamas's position in the Palestinian Territories and the Middle East, she said, it was unlikely to lead "to any definitive swing in opinion in the group's favour in the United States or even Europe".

"It is about assuring Egypt and the other Arab states there is no relationship between Hamas (and the Brotherhood)". The new program makes no reference to the Brotherhood.

He said "Hamas is vital and renewable in its political performance".

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The press conference was broadcast live in the Gaza Strip, and the document was posted on the movement's website. Egypt has outlawed the Brotherhood as a terror group.

Hamas may include measures in its charter to reel in more global support.

Instead, it seeks to draw a distinction between political and religious struggle: "Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project, not with the Jews due to their religion", said Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who introduced the "political document of principles and general policies" at a press conference in Doha, Qatar, where he lives in exile. An English translation is to be made available on the Hamas website after Mashaal's announcement.

The indications are that Hamas wants to improve its worldwide standing.

In another statement in March, the White House said Trump in his first phone call told Abbas that he believed peace between Palestine and Israel was possible.

"Hamas refuses to hinder the resistance or its weapons, and confirms the right of our people to develop resistance tools and equipments", the document says.

It declares for the first time a willingness to accept an interim Palestinian state within pre-1967 boundaries, without recognising Israel. These were the conditions set by the global community when Hamas swept in the 2006 parliamentary elections. It reframes the goal of Hamas as being engaged in an armed political struggle against occupiers, rather than a religious war against the Jews.

Militancy: There was also interest in whether Hamas would soften its language on the use of violence in the pursuit of its objectives.

Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand.

"If you look at Europe, it is pretty self-obsessed right now", said Mekelberg, also a professor at Regent's University London.

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