Hamas’s draft government programme has left the question of recognising Israel to the Palestinian people – leaving the door open for a possible referendum.
Hamas published a draft of its government programme on its website on Saturday.
The fifth article in the programme says: “The question of recognising Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people.”
Handing the issue over to a popular referendum would neatly disengage Hamas from being labelled as a hardline movement that refuses to recognise Israel on ideological grounds.
The US and EU have repeatedly said they will cut financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas forms a government that does not recognise Israel.
But any referendum would leave the US and the EU with little choice but to resume funding the Palestinians, regardless of the outcome of a vote, because America and Europe have always pledged not to punish the Palestinian people…