Hamas is an Islamist party. It does not believe in nation states. Rather, it expects to see such entities replaced by an Islamist “Caliphate”, organised as a theocracy.
It goes without saying that Palestine would not be a sovereign and independent state in this vision. It would simply be a region of that Caliphate.
From time to time, Hamas officials make this point. However, in the West, partisans of the Palestinian cause ignore it. That is because they present the Israel-Palestine conflict as a struggle for a potential national state, by its stateless people, against its occupier. To speak of the dispute as a battle to incorporate Israel – and its 6 million Jewish citizens – by force, into a Muslim Middle East with a Muslim population of over 200 million, would destroy that narrative. So the talk is all of Palestinian nationhood: inconvenient statements by “the elected Government of Gaza” which indicate that they expect Palestine to be incorporated into an Islamist superstate in the near future is ignored.
Here’s a translation of the relevant passage (thanks to Shlomo, below):
Before our interview commenced, the Hamas Interior Minister [Fathi Hamad] predicted the destruction of Israel after 9 years. According to his vision, as the destruction takes place in stages, Egypt will play a significant role in the destruction of the Zionist entity. After that the Islamic caliphate will arise, Hamad adds, right after the fall of Israel, which is expected to begin in 9 years’ time. He stressed that the realisation of the long-coveted Islamic caliphate would not be bound by/dependent on any person or state, saying, “This is the religion of Allah, and there will be a place in history for the Islamic caliphate just like any ideology.
A similar point could be made – although less forcefully – about the pan-Arab position on Palestine, and indeed Fatah’s period kite-flying exercises positing a federation of the West Bank of Palestine and Jordan.
Clearly, there are Palestinian nationalists, who would like to see a sovereign Palestinian state. The trouble is, significant parts of the Palestinian leadership – in both Hamas and Fatah – evidently see such a state as only one of the post-Israel options that they are striving for. The primary one is the destruction of Israel and the ending of non-Arab, or non-Muslim self-government. That is why they have defined Palestine, not as a specific geographic area with historical boundaries, but as “wherever Israel presently is”. You only have to look at the first Palestine National Charter of 1964, which explicitly denied a claim to the West Bank and Gaza - then “occupied” by Jordan and Egypt - to illustrate that point:
Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area
Because the international community, and Israel, and most Western advocates of the Palestinian cause are focused on the creation of a Palestinian state, statements which indicate that Palestinian statehood and independence is not the focus of a significant part of Palestinian politics, are ignored.
But, in doing so, we fail to understand the perspectives of an important section of Palestinian society.
via Elder of Ziyon
Update: Incidentally, the “9 years” timeframe is possibly derived from this popular prophecy. The End of Israel in 2022 prophecy was initially published by Sheikh Bassam Jarrar, a Hamas leader and theologian in Ramallah.