Hamas Rebuffs Leader’s Call for Worldwide Attacks on Jews

In a statement Monday, the Islamic movement said recent remarks by Fathi Hammad, a member of its politburo, 'don’t represent the movement’s official positions'

Hamas's former Interior Minister Fathi Hammad attends a graduation ceremony of members of Hamas' national security forces, Gaza City, Gaza, December 2, 2012.
Suhaib Salem, Reuters

The militant Hamas group is distancing itself from a leader who called for the slaughter of Jews worldwide.

In a statement Monday, the Islamic movement said recent remarks by Fathi Hammad, a member of its politburo, “don’t represent the movement’s official positions.”

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Hammad’s remarks conflicted with its amended charter that restricted Hamas’s conflict to the Israeli occupation, “not the Jews or their religion,” according to the rare statement.

“All of you 7 million Palestinians abroad, enough of the warming up. You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing, if God permits,” Hammad, a Hamas Cabinet minister until 2014, said Friday in a speech in Gaza.The United States and European Union list Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The group’s original 1988 charter called for “struggle against the Jews.” But in 2017, Hamas issued a new version without mentioning the Jewish people, saying their struggle was against Israel.

The Israeli military acknowledged that it killed a Hamas member at the Gaza border by mistake on Thursday, and Hamas threatened in a statement that “Israel will pay for its actions.”

Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, on Monday condemned Hammad’s statements.

“The just values of the Palestinian cause include love for freedom, justice and equality,” Erekat tweeted Monday. “The repugnant statement of Hamas leader Mr. Fathi Hammad about Jews doesn’t represent any of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report