The most relevant of the document’s 36 articles can be summarized as falling within four main themes:
Thus, as fighting rages in Israel and Gaza, and may yet escalate and spread, pleas for moderation, restraint, negotiation, and the building of pathways to peace are destined to find no purchase with Hamas. The covenant makes clear that holy war, divinely ordained and scripturally sanctioned, is in Hamas’s DNA.
- The complete destruction of Israel as an essential condition for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a theocratic state based on Islamic law (Sharia),
- The need for both unrestrained and unceasing holy war (jihad) to attain the above objective,
- The deliberate disdain for, and dismissal of, any negotiated resolution or political settlement of Jewish and Muslim claims to the Holy Land, and
- The reinforcement of historical anti-Semitic tropes and calumnies married to sinister conspiracy theories.
Israel’s Complete and Utter Destruction
The covenant opens with a message that precisely encapsulates Hamas’s master plan. Quoting Hassan al-Banna, the Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is a constituent member (Article 2), the document proclaims, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
Lest there be any doubt about Hamas’s sanguinary aims toward Israel and the Jewish people, the introduction goes on to explain:This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious … It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps.After some general explanatory language about Hamas’s religious foundation and noble intentions, the covenant comes to the Islamic Resistance Movement’s raison d’être: the slaughter of Jews. “The Day of Judgement will not come about,” it proclaims, “until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”