Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip, has released a policy statement that demands Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital and alludes to the total destruction of Israel. The statement comes as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas comes to Washington to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. The Islamist group Hamas says it would accept an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 armistice lines and the right of return for an estimated 5 million descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948, both non-starters for Israel.

Outgoing Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal said the policy statement reflects the group’s “struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine,” while preserving its right for “resistance and jihad” to accomplish its goal. “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state. READ MORE