Latest Developments

A senior member of Hamas’s political bureau suggested in an English-language interview on December 13 that Hamas recognize the State of Israel as a step towards ending the decades-old feud between Palestinian factions. “You should follow the official stance,” Mousa Abu Marzouk said. “The official stance is that the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] has recognized the state of Israel.” Marzouk walked back his remarks on December 14, clarifying in Arabic that Hamas “does not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation” and “will continue [the resistance] until liberation and return.”

The PLO agreed to recognize Israel as part of the 1993 Oslo Accords. In exchange, Israel recognized the PLO as the legitimate political representative of the Palestinian people.

Marzouk’s latter remarks dovetail with Hamas’s longstanding commitment to Israel’s destruction. On October 24, Hamas official Ghazi Hamad said the terror group will repeat its October 7 massacre “again and again” until Israel is annihilated.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas employs a dual approach in its communication strategy, tailoring its message to two distinct audiences: the Arab world and Western viewers. While addressing an Arabic-speaking audience, Hamas openly discusses and lauds acts of terrorism. However, when engaging with the wider international community, Hamas attempts to garner sympathy as it preaches so-called resistance against Israel.”  Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal 

“Hamas leaders have not only vowed to repeat the atrocities of 10/7 again and again, but they have also repeatedly denied killing civilians and taking women and children hostage. Even as the people of Gaza are suffering, this terrorist regime continues to incite violence and demand that the ‘resistance’ continues. This deplorable and duplicitous regime cannot play a part in any future for the Palestinian people — neither in Gaza nor in the West Bank.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Hamas Negotiates Future

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh said on December 13 that any arrangement for postwar Gaza without Hamas is a “delusion.” He proposed talks for “putting the Palestinian house in order both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” to pave a “political path” for Palestinian statehood.

Israel and the United States have repeatedly said that Hamas will have no future role in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on December 14 that Israel will “continue to fight until Hamas is eliminated.” On November 18, President Joe Biden published an op-ed in The Washington Post denouncing “an outcome that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza.”

Hamas Threats

Hamas continues to levy threats against Israel and the United States as it fights for its survival. On December 5, senior Hamas political official Sami Abu Zuhri called for “violent acts against American and British interests everywhere.” The United States “must pay a price for the blood of our women and children,” he said. On December 10, Hamas warned that, unless Israel meets “the demands of the resistance,” no hostage will leave the Gaza Strip alive.

10 Things to Know About Hamas,” FDD Insight

Support for Hamas Surges in the West Bank,” FDD Flash Brief

Palestinian Authority Sidesteps Gaza Governance,” FDD Flash Brief