Hamas yesterday presented a new policy document in which it said it was prepared to accept a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders in the West bank and Gaza Strip.
The move comes ahead of a first face-to-face meeting tomorrow between US President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party remains deeply divided from Hamas.
The document was unveiled in Doha by Hamas leader Khalid Mishal.
The press conference was also broadcast live in the Gaza Strip.
“We in Hamas believe that renewal and reinvention is a necessity,” Mishal said at the conference in a Doha hotel.
While the new document does not amount to recognition of Israel as demanded by the international community, Hamas officials say, it formally softens its stance in a few key areas.
Hamas leaders have long spoken of the more limited aim of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip without explicitly setting this out in its charter.
But after years of internal debate, the new document formally accepts the idea of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders in the West bank and Gaza Strip
It also says its struggle is not against Jews because of their religion but against Israel as an occupier.
“We are not fighting against the Jews because they are Jewish,” said Mishal.
“We are waging this struggle against the aggression of Zionists.”
However, the original 1988 charter will not be dropped, just supplemented.
The new document also continues to speak of liberating historic Palestine, including areas that are today part of Israel.
Israel was not impressed with the changes to Hamas’ charter. “Hamas is attempting to fool the world, but it will not succeed,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman said.
Hamas leader Khalid Mishal speaks during their conference in Doha yesterday.