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Hamas criticises its leader who told Palestinians to kill Jews

Hamas has criticised comments by one of its senior officials who urged Palestinians abroad to kill Jews.

Fathi Hamad, the head of Hamas’ General Administrative Committee, said last Friday: “Our patience has run out. We are on the verge of exploding. If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God’s permission and glory … 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.”

Yesterday Hamas released a statement saying that Hamad’s remarks did not represent the organisation’s official position and policy toward Israel, adding: “Hamas is not against world Jewry, and not even against Judaism as a religion.”

Hamas official Ahmed Yosef, a close associate of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, said: “The language of knives and explosive belts is not suitable for statesmen… and the talk of killing Jews using this kind of language contradicts religion and morality.”

Hamad’s statement was also condemned by the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, who tweeted: “The just values of the Palestinian cause include love for freedom, justice and equality. The repugnant statement of Hamas leader Mr. Fathi Hammad about Jews doesn’t represent any of them. Religion shouldn’t be used for political purposes.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN envoy to the Middle East, described Hamad’s remarks as “dangerous, repugnant and inciteful” and called for everyone to condemn such rhetoric.

According to Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), on 19 June Hamad called on the Arab and Islamic nation to help the Palestinians liberate the mosques that are “languishing under the Zionist occupation”. He said that these mosques have been turned into pubs and dens of vice by the Zionists and that they, along with the Al-Aqsa Mosque, must be liberated and purified from the “filth of the occupation”.

On Friday a delegation of senior Egyptian intelligence officials headed by deputy intelligence chief Ayman Badia was in Gaza for discussions with the Hamas leadership as part of ceasefire talks with Israel.