JERUSALEM, Israel – Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip, has released a policy statement that demands Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital and alludes to the total destruction of Israel.
The statement came as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas came to Washington to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, President Trump offered to be a "mediator and arbitrator" to help the Palestinians and Israelis come to an agreement.
But the Islamist group Hamas says it would only accept an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 armistice lines and the right of return for an estimated 5 million descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948, both non-starters for Israel.
Outgoing Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal said the policy statement reflects the group's "struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine," while preserving its right for "resistance and jihad" to accomplish its goal.
"Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, 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 a formula of national consensus."
The terror group's latest declaration is seen as a means to an end – an end of Israel that is – since their end goal is to liberate "Palestine, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea."
"Hamas is attempting to fool the world, but it will not succeed," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes told The Times of Israel.
Netanyahu hopes the president will hold Abbas accountable for paying hefty monthly stipends to convicted terrorists and educating its youth to wage jihad against Israelis.