Earlier this month, the terrorist organization’s recently revised charter was published in the Lebanese media. The document, according to Pinḥas Inbari, moderates some of the original version’s most strident and hate-filled declarations, but doesn’t indicate any change in the movement’s goals. Even so, however, it has been rejected by Hamas leaders in Gaza:
To understand [the controversy], we must go back to the Seventh Fatah convention, where Jibril Rajoub—a senior operative in Fatah’s Tanzim militia—placed first [in elections], just behind the honorary place reserved for Marwan Barghouti, who is currently [in an Israeli prison] serving five life sentences for murder without the possibility of release. The convention was funded by Qatar, which harbors Khaled Meshal, the chairman of Hamas’s political bureau. The intent [of the convention] was for Rajoub to inherit the leadership from Mahmoud Abbas and invite Meshal to lead with him, thereby allowing Hamas access to the West Bank via the PLO.
Indeed, a significant part of the new Hamas charter discusses rehabilitating the PLO and Hamas joining it. . . . However, Hamas in Gaza is unwilling to recognize the PLO . . . and thus is not willing to recognize the new Hamas plant.
Many Israelis who are seeking any sign of Palestinian moderation will be delighted that such a document has been published at all. Yet, even in this new guise, Hamas is still sworn to Israel’s destruction, even without explicitly saying so. Hamas is devoted to war with Israel and therefore is opposed to any security cooperation with it. But all this is said in softer words than the old, blatantly anti-Semitic charter.