Hamas drops demand that Israel be destroyed, amid growing Palestinian power struggle

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal unveils new charter
(Image credit: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will meet with President Trump in the White House, as Trump begins a push to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. On Monday, Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction to Abbas' Fatah, unveiled a newly revised charter that dropped the group's explicit call for Israel's destruction, distanced itself from the Muslim Brotherhood, formally accepted a provisional Palestinian state along the borders established by the 1967 Middle East war, and weakened anti-Jewish language from its 1988 charter, though Hamas did not renounce the goal of taking over the land now held by Israel or recognize Israel.

"This charter demonstrates our political vision and will be taught to our supporters," Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said Monday in Doha, Qatar, where Hamas has its headquarters. "The 1988 charter represented our vision at that time and this one represents our vision now." Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other Western nations, has controlled the Gaza Strip for a decade, while Fatah runs the West Bank. In moderating its tone, analysts say, Hamas is bidding for more international legitimacy and trying to edge into the role of dominant faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which represents all Palestinians in international organizations. Fatah recognizes Israel.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.