Skip to main content

Netanyahu bins 'fake news' Hamas policy document

Israeli prime minister slams 'hateful' Hamas document and throws it in bin in social media video
Netanyahu said Hamas 'lies to the world' (screengrab)
By Reuters

Benjamin Netanyahu has symbolically tossed into a bin a new Hamas policy paper that set out an apparent softening of the Palestinian group's stance towards Israel.

Hamas last week said it was dropping its longstanding call for Israel's destruction, but said it still rejected the Jewish state's right to exist and continued to back "armed struggle" against it.

The Israeli government has said the document aimed to deceive the world that Hamas was becoming more moderate.

In a 97-second video clip published on social media on Sunday, the Israel's prime minister said that news outlets had been taken in by "fake news".

Sitting behind his desk with tense music playing in the background, he said that in its "hateful document", Hamas "lies to the world". He then pulled up a waste paper bin, crumpled the document into a ball and tossed it away.

"The new Hamas document says that Israel has no right to exist, it says every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians, it says there is no acceptable solution other than to remove Israel... they want to use their state to destroy our state," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu concluded his clip by saying that "Hamas murders women and children, it's launched tens of thousands of missiles at our homes, it brainwashes Palestinian kids in suicide kindergarten camps", before binning the document.

A Hamas spokesman called the video an "act of weakness" by Netanyahu, and called on the world to stand up to his "racist behaviour".

Founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the now-banned Egyptian movement, Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2007 and has carried out hundreds of armed attacks in Israel and in Israeli-occupied territories.

Many Western countries classify Hamas as a terrorist group over its failure to renounce violence, recognise Israel's right to exist and accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements.

Outgoing Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said Hamas's fight was not against Judaism as a religion but against what he called "aggressor Zionists".

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader in the Gaza Strip, was named on Saturday to succeed Meshaal.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.