Israel's real goal is to set the two major Palestinian factions at odds with each other, says Musa Abu Marzook, deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau.
Monitor contributor Shane Bauer sat down on Jan. 7 with Musa Abu Marzook, deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, in Damascus, Syria. While part of that conversation appeared in today’s Monitor story on Hamas’s defiance in the face of the Israeli campaign in Gaza, a fuller version of the interview, which sheds a great deal of light on Hamas’s thinking about the ongoing war, is below:
Abu Marzook: Hamas has held the same position since Israel’s aggression began. We have three conditions for any peace initiative coming from any state. First of all, the aggression of the Israelis should stop. All of the [border crossings] should be opened, including the gate of Rafah between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Finally, Israel has to withdraw from the Gaza strip. We are not saying we will stop firing rockets from the Gaza strip to Israel. We are only talking about stopping the aggression from the Israelis against the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
When others talk about a cease-fire, they are saying all military operations should stop. But we are sending a message [by firing rockets, which is:] “We will not surrender. We have to fight the Israelis and we will win this battle.” We know we are going to lose a lot of people from our side, but we are going to win [God willing].