Breaking: Hamas advises Saudi Arabia not to stand at Israel’s side
TEHRAN – Hamas spokesman says that the normalization of ties with Israel harms the leadership in countries that support this process, calling on Saudi Arabia not to stand on the enemies’ side.
In an interview with the Tehran Times, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem notes that the resistance movement wants to strengthen the Arab position and not to undermine it.
He emphasizes that the establishment of relation with Israel “harms the leadership of countries that support this process.”
“We call on Saudi Arabia not to submit to pressure and it must not stand on the enemies’ side, and we hope that Saudis stand beside the Palestinian people and cause,” Qassem suggests.
The following is the text of the interview:
Q: What were the motives that pushed some Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf to rush to normalize ties with Israel?
A: The process of normalization of ties with Israel, which began with the UAE signing a normalization and cooperation agreement with the Zionist regime, then Bahrain joined it, and then Sudan, is considered a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and a victory for the Zionist narrative and the right-wing discourse, especially by Netanyahu.
The normalization of ties with such a brutal regime not only is against the Palestinian cause, Arab interests, and stability in the region but also didn’t help Trump in his election campaign.
This won’t save Netanyahu in his internal crises.
These agreements represent a political sin par excellence that helps the expansionist Zionist approach to continue its plan in the region and expresses the efforts of some regimes to reinforce their position at the expense of Arab interests and the Palestinian cause.
Parties to the Abraham Accord must withdraw from it because of the great damage it inflicts on the Palestinian cause. These agreements encourage the Israelis to continue the aggression against the Palestinian people.
Since the accord was signed, we have noticed escalating aggression against the Palestinian people, whether in Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza.
The settlement has doubled, and this indicates the deception practiced by the countries that signed peace agreements with Israel when they claimed that these agreements would prevent annexation while the Israeli plan to annex the West Bank is taking place on the ground step by step. Therefore, we see that these agreements are very harmful and dangerous.
The Arab world, including peoples and movements, are against this plan, but some regimes try to move along this path to gain the support of Israel and the United States in their regional conflicts, and this is also a strategic mistake that could add fuel to the fire of differences in the region in favor of the United States by increasing tension, plundering the wealth of the Islamic nations and selling more arms to the Arab countries.
Q: Are there any differences inside Israel or between Israel and its allies regarding the implementation of the annexation project?
A: The colonial annexation plan is one of the pillars of the Zionist right-wing vision, which believes that it should include the largest areas in the West Bank including the Jordan Valley and East and West Jerusalem with the exception of the population blocs inside the West Bank.
This is the vision of the biblical right-wing, and this is the position of the Zionist right-wing movement since its inception. Consequently, there are historical and biblical ambitions in addition to the strategic importance of the West Bank that provides Israel a deep defense that it lacks because of its geographical composition in the occupied Palestinian territories. It is also an expression of the expansionist tendency that does not stop at the Zionist project and tries to expand in any area it can and as Israel occupied large parts of the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, southern Lebanon, and Jordan.
Israel occupies where it can because its project is based on an aggressive expansionist basis, while it is supported by the arrogant powers, especially the United States.
The American support also increased Israel’s motivation to take the annexation decision, amid the state of international neglect of the Palestinian situation, and the weakness of the European Union’s stance as well as the differences in the Arab world; and the fabricated intra-regional conflicts altogether provided a better environment for the Zionist regime to dare to take such an adventurous decision.
Also, the behavior of some states in the region especially those which follow the orders of the United States, including the countries that signed peace agreements with Israel, encourage the Zionist regime to complete the annexation plan.
The Israelis are negotiating in their government about the scope of this annexation.
They prefer not to announce the exact area of annexation because there are differences between them over the spaces, mechanisms, and the extent of coordination with the international powers, especially with the United States. In general, there is an agreement within the Zionist regime that the issue of annexation is a strategic plan for them.
Q: How do you assess the reaction of the Arab peoples to the normalization of ties with Israel?
A: According to what we monitor as a Palestinian people, parties, factions and based on indicators monitored through opinion polls published in think tank centers, and from what we hear in the media, the Arab people still believe that Palestine is the central cause.
Each Arab country may have its own priorities, but in all around the Arab region, Palestine is present and is in peoples’ hearts and consciousness. The Arab nations still consider Israel an occupying regime and an enemy, while the polls reveal that the overwhelming majority in the Arab world reject the plan of normalization with Israel.
Nationalist parties, besides the Islamic movements, express their rejection of this project. However, there are efforts by some regimes to integrate Israel into the region through their media outlets and to frustrate the Arab and Palestinian people by spreading rumors, lies, and misinformation.
They claim that the Palestinian people are the ones who forgot their cause and the Palestinian leadership has failed to follow its goals. These media accuse the Islamic Resistance of not serving the Palestinian people. However, we are confident that the Arab peoples support the Palestinian cause, and the Palestine map is present in the consciousness and heart of all Arabs. All Palestinian forces must move and raise their voice in rejecting the normalization of ties with Israel.
Q: How did the Palestinian people react to Bahrain and the UAE which have normalized ties with Israel?
A: The Palestinians expressed their severe anger and great condemnation about the normalization of relations with Israel. These countries (the Emirates and Bahrain, etc.) were expected to provide Palestine with financial, military, and political support so that our people could face the Zionist aggression and be able to defend their land and sanctities in Jerusalem, but they stab us in the back by signing the Abraham Accord.
There is a vast consensus at the political level between parties, factions, and the political elites that this normalization is a political crime against the Palestinian people, and Israel won’t stop its occupation plan. It was a free gift for Israel to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people.
Q: What is the role of Hamas in unifying the Palestinian forces to confront the challenges?
A: Hamas, based on its national, moral, and religious responsibilities, moved from the beginning to unify “the Palestinian groups to face the challenges, especially the “deal of the century” supported by the American administration.
We contacted with all Palestinian factions in order to unify the Palestinian policies and succeeded in providing a positive atmosphere that was reflected in the West Bank in a joint press conference between Sheikh Al-Arouri, deputy head of the political office of Hamas, and Major General Jibril Rajoub, Secretary of the Central Committee of Fatah.
There is a process launched by the Palestinian parties to unify the policies and visions to counter the challenges, whether they are political, such as the “deal of the century, normalization of ties with Israel and the annexation plan, or the health crisis emerging with the breakout of the Corona pandemic.
These contacts are continuous and strenuous, and there is a positive atmosphere surrounding these contacts, and we will work with full force to push it forward so that we reach a state of unification, ending rifts, and restore credibility of the Palestinian groups by representing everyone and activating popular resistance in all places where the Palestinian people are, especially in the West Bank.
We will continue these efforts until it succeeds with all we can and with full force because we believe that we can only face these challenges through unity and harmony.
These challenges make a real threat to entire Palestine and not to one group or party, and it is an existential danger.
Q: What is your comment on the Saudi desire and support for the process of normalizing ties with Israel?
A: After the UAE, Bahrain, and then Sudan signed the normalization deal with Israel, we heard a lot from the U.S. administration that there are countries seeking normalization with Israel, including Saudi Arabia, and we heard similar statements from the head of Mossad, and Trump spoke about five or more countries that welcome normalization with Israel.
We call on Saudi Arabia not to be dragged into this trap that is harmful to the Palestinian cause and dangerous for Arab national interests and destructive to the national interests of all these countries.
The relationship with the Zionist regime harms the leadership of countries that support this process, while we want to strengthen the Arab position and not to dismantle it. We call on Saudi Arabia not to submit to pressure and it must not stand on the enemies’ side, and we hope that Saudis stand beside the Palestinian people and cause.