PLO and Hamas

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The Palestinian Authority (PA) and the PLO are unofficially allied with the terrorist network Hamas. This entry attempts to present an objective point of view on the relationship between Hamas and the PLO/PA. No moral or ethical judgments are expressed on the appropriateness of the goals of either of these organizations, or of the desirability or non-desirability of their relationship with each other. That is for the reader to decide on their own. Additions and modifications to this entry should take great care in this matter; additional data must be based firmly on the actual statements and actions of members of these organizations.

  • Yassir Arafat stated 'There is no confrontation with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.' (United Press International, September 12, 1996)
  • PA Justice Minister Freih Abu Medein stated: 'The PA and the [Hamas] opposition complement each other.. .We regard Hamas and Islamic Jihad as national elements.. .The main enemy, now and forever, is Israel.' (An Nahar, April 11, 1995; Al Quds, April 14, 1995)
  • Col. Jibril Rajoub, chief of the Palestinian Authority?s Preventive Security Service, said in a May 27, 1998 interview with Al-Jazira television: 'We view Hamas as part of the national and Islamic liberation movement. Outside of the 3 percent [of Judea-Samaria that is under complete PA control] they can do as they wish. They can go to Jordan to carry out armed operations and they can also carry out such operations from Syria. At the top of my list of priorities is the [Israeli] occupation and not Hamas. We are not interested in arrests'?
  • Yassir Arafat said 'Hamas, even its military wing, is a patriotic movement.' (The Russian newspaper Novoya Vremy, May 25, 1997).
  • Yassir Arafat publicly praised Yiyhe Ayyash, the master Hamas bomb-maker who killed at least 60 Israelis, as 'a martyr.' (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 1996)
  • Arafat's Foreign Minister, Farouk Kaddoumi, said: 'Hamas is part of the national movement and it has its own style and approach to action. It is resisting the Israeli enemy.' (An Nahar, March 9, 1996) Kaddoumi also stated: 'No one can complain about what Hamas and Jihad are doing. I say that it is the right of every Palestinian to struggle so long as there is a single Israeli soldier in the land of Palestine.' (Al Musawar, September 30, 1994)
  • Yassir Arafat publicly praised Hamas bomb-maker Yiyhe Ayyash as 'the struggler, the martyr.' (New York Times, January 8,1996)
  • PA Cabinet Minister Hanan Ashrawi said: 'It is not up to Israel to decide or define who is our enemy. Hamas is not the enemy, it is part of the political fabric.' (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 1995)
  • Abbas Zakai of the Fatah Central Committee said: '[Hamas's attacks] strengthen the Palestinian position... It would be dangerous to stop these actions, because the accords will crumble if there is nothing to make Israel go forward.' (Al Hayat, April 17, 1995)
  • PA Cabinet Minister Nabil Sha'ath said: 'We have a brotherly relationship with Hamas.' (Reuters, Oct. 28, 1994)
  • Hisham Abdel-Rizak, Fatah leader in Gaza, said: 'The dialogue with Hamas will not be broken off. Hamas is part of the Palestinian people.' (United Press International, Oct. 28, 1994)
  • Arafat named a public square in Jericho after Hamas bomb-maker Yiyha Ayyash, and publicly praising Ayyash as 'holy.'
  • Arafat praised Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as 'my brother Ahmed Yassin the warrior.' (New York Times, July 2, 1994)


  • Yassir Arafat named Imad Falouji, a Hamas leader, as a Minister Without Portfolio. Arafat chose Talal Sidr, a Hamas activist from Hebron, as Minister of Youth. (Jerusalem Post, Jan.26, 1997)
  • In June 1998, PA Secretary Tayeb Abdel Rahim announced that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were being invited to formally join Arafat's cabinet. (The two groups declined the invitation). (Associated Press, June 13, 1998)
  • Ninety Hamas members were hired to man the PA police force's 'vice department', the public name for the PLO death squads that murdered over 1,000 Palestinian Arabs during the intifada years on suspicion of committing 'acts of immorality'. (Jerusalem Times, November 25, 1994.)
  • In local elections in the West Bank, Arafat's Fatah faction has campaigned on joint lists with Hamas. (Jerusalem Times, June 23, 1995)