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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Hamas Leaders in Their Own Words


Hamas hides behind Palestinian civilians to attack Israel (AP/Khalil Hamra)

Hamas has made clear that its goal remains the destruction of Israel and not the betterment of the lives of Gaza’s citizens. The terror group is deliberately putting Palestinians in harm’s way by instigating ongoing riots near the border with Israel.


Even senior officials in the Palestinian Authority (PA) have called out Hamas for their reckless policies. Hamas is “selling illusions,” and “trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims,” said Mahmoud Habbash, a senior advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.


Below are recent statements from Hamas leaders that make clear their true intentions:


Ismail Haniyeh, Chairman of Hamas Political Bureau

  • “We'll turn the nakba [catastrophe] that ended Palestine to a nakba that ends the Zionist enterprise [Israel].” - Speech, May 11, 2018

  • “There is no concession to Jerusalem, no alternative to Palestine, and no solution but to return. This is the Palestinian people taking the initiative for the sake of Jerusalem and the right of return.” - Speech, March 30, 2018

  • “Palestine and Jerusalem belong to us… We will break the walls of the blockade, remove the occupation entity [Israel] and return to all of Palestine.” - Speech, April 9, 2018

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas Gaza Strip Chief

  • "When we decided to embark on these marches, we decided to turn that which is most dear to us – the bodies of our women and children – into a dam blocking the collapse in Arab reality, a dam to prevent the racing of many Arabs towards the normalization of ties with the plundering entity [Israel], which occupies our Jerusalem, plunders our land, defiles our holy places, and oppresses our people day and night." - Interview with Al Jazeera, May 16, 2018

  • “We favor an assassination over a natural death and we are always willing to sacrifice our lives for the just Palestinian cause” - Speech, May 10, 2018

  • “Wait for our great move, when we breach the borders and pray at Al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem].” - Speech, April 6, 2018

  • “We are here to remind that there is no peace with the enemy [Israel] and any attempt or plan will not compel us to make peace with them.” - Speech, April 1, 2018

Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas Co-Founder

  • “This is not peaceful resistance. Has the option (of armed struggle) diminished? No. On the contrary, it is growing and developing. That’s clear. So when we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.” - Interview with Al Jazeera, May 17, 2018

  • “We will not make any concessions even if the whole world conspires against us.” - Speech, April 6, 2018

Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas Spokesman

  • “The large crowds…reflect the Palestinian people’s determination to achieve the right of return and break the siege and no force can stop this right.” - Statement, March 30, 2018

Hazem Qassem, Hamas Spokesman

  • “[The Palestinian] right to all of the soil of Palestine was absolute and clear.” - Statement, April 5, 2018

Salah Bardawil, Senior Hamas Official

  • “In the last rounds of confrontations, there were 62 martyrs [people killed]; 50 of the martyrs were from Hamas and the other 12 were regular people.” - Interview with Baladna , May 16, 2018


Type: Memo