Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Istanbul statement backs Hamas and sets out ‘obligations’ to the people of Gaza

The Guardian, UK, Wednesday 25 March 2009

The Istanbul statement claims God has granted victory to Gazans over their “Zionist Jewish occupiers”. But it also complains of an “international and local conspiracy” against Gaza, implicating Palestine leaders in the West Bank and accusing the Egyptian government of treason (though without mentioning it by name). The statement then sets out eight “obligations” for the Muslim community - “its religious scholars, its rulers and its peoples”:

• To aid the people of Gaza in rebuilding “what the Zionist aggression destroyed”; to compensate the injured and support widows and orphans.

• In the delivery of aid and reconstruction, to deal only with Hamas.

• Not to recognise the Palestinian Authority as representative of the Palestinian people.

• To withhold aid from the undeserving or untrustworthy and to punish those who cause “mayhem, negligence and waste” of funds.

• To find a fair formula for reconciliation “between the sons of the Palestinian people” (ie Fatah and Hamas), so as to establish a legitimate authority that will “carry on with jihad and resistance against the occupier until the liberation of all Palestine”.

• To open all crossings in and out of Palestine, giving the Palestinians access to “money, clothing, food, medicine, weapons and other essentials”.

• To regard all those who contribute substantially to the “crimes and brutality” of Israel in the same way as Israel itself.

• To reject and “fight by all means” the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters on the basis of “claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza”.

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