Dr Abdel Aziz Al Rantisi is one of
the founding leaders of the Palestinian resistance
movement Hamas. Now aged 55, Rantisi spent most of
his life struggling against the Zionist occupation
He was six months old when his
parents fled the Zionist occupation to Gaza, then
part of Egypt. He studied pediatrics in Egypt,
later working at a hospital in Gaza and earning a
degree in medicine.
Dr Rantisi has been in and out of
Zionist prisons, spending more than seven years
behind bars altogether. He was expelled to Lebanon
in 1992 with 400 other Hamas members.
Rantisi is now the spokesperson of the Palestinian
resistance. In an interview, he speaks to
Nida’ul Islam magazine:
do you interpret the cowardly assassination
attempt on your life, and the assassination
policies of the Israelis in general, whose latest
victim was Al-Qawasimy commander in Hebron?
Firstly, this is the custom of the
Jews, for they are the killers of prophets, and
the killers of the preachers who enjoin justice.
Their criminal nature will never change.
Secondly, they have exercised all
types of terrorism in their attempt to break the
determination of the Palestinian people. When they
failed, they proceeded with their cowardly
assassination operations, which inflict them no
loss. They utilise the most advanced military
technology to confront an unarmed nation that has
no means to defend itself.
Furthermore, they realise that
Hamas is the influential power driving the
resistance in Palestine; hence they continuously
direct their strikes at this movement.
The Jews have designs and ambitions
in Palestine and in surrounding countries, and
they utilize terrorism to materialise their plans
and accomplish their ‘holy’ prophecies.
is from this angle we can understand their
assassination attempts at the leadership of the
Islamic movement, following their failure to bring
the Palestinian people to their knees through the
mass killing and massacres of children, elderly
Muslims, we view the events in the blessed land of
Palestine as an ongoing struggle between Truth and
falsehood. Does Hamas share the view of some
secular Palestinian factions that the aim of the
struggle is to take back the territories that were
occupied in 1967?
During the Aqabah Summit and the
days that followed, Sharon asserted this land is
Jewish and that this state is Jewish; and stressed
that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are Israeli
lands, meaning that there is no room for the
Palestinian people in Palestine, rather there is
no presence for such a people according to him. As
for us in Hamas, our charter states Palestine is a
Muslim land that falls under the category of
‘Waqf’ in Islamic Law. Hence no leader, group,
people or any generation is permitted to surrender
a single hand-span of it to a non-Muslim. This is
why we do not recognise the sovereignty of Jews on
a hand-span of our country.
From here we can see that the
battle will continue because in true reality it is
a battle for our own existence and is not a battle
over borders. This battle will end with a triumph
that Allah (swt) will bestow upon His believing
servants, and we shall regain every hand-span of
our country (encompassing all land) between its
sea-borders (in the west) to its river (in the
US has been leading the efforts to eradicate the
Islamic movements in recent times, especially in
Palestine, and has named Hamas in particular. What
is the ideal strategy to counter this campaign?
We realise the US is unable to do
anything to counter us because the US does not
have the same terrorist means and terrorist
tactics as Sharon, who is currently living in a
state of defeat, despair and frustration due to
his failure to face up to the resistance,
especially Hamas. The US is unable to prevent the
support of the Muslims from reaching Hamas because
we do not receive the support of any country or
organisation. We only have the donations we
receive from Muslim individuals in every corner of
the globe, and the US stands helpless with this
type of aid.
US, however, can try to entice the Palestinian
Authority against us, which is most troubling to
us. We do not wish to enter into a civil internal
war, for such a war is capable of wiping out the
Palestinian existence and terminating the
Palestinian cause in favour of the enemy. This was
the reason we took the initiative to declare a
temporary and conditional truce, with the aim of
foiling the US-Zionist scheme.
Regimes, especially the Egyptian government, have
been applying intensive pressures on Hamas in
order to materialise the US plans in the region.
How does Hamas deal with these pressures?
We always seek to have good ties
with Arab countries because such ties can serve
our struggle. The Arab countries do not have the
necessary means to pressure us, as we are perhaps
the only movement in the world that has complete
independence, with Allah’s Grace. We do not
follow any regime, for none of the regimes in the
region or in the world actually provides any aid
to Hamas. This stops them from being in a position
to influence our independent decisions. In
addition, we do not have any organisation in any
of the Arab countries, for them to trouble us
with. This is why it is not easy for pressure to
be applied on us.
we strive to avoid making the atmosphere tense
between our Arab countries and us. I wish to
stress we were not subject to any pressures from
Egypt or from any other Arab country.
US-made ‘Road Map’ with international capping,
was imposed upon the Palestinian side. How can
Hamas overcome this conspiracy?
We have stated clearly the ‘Road
Map’ is a conspiracy against the Palestinian
cause and the Palestinian existence. The very
first stage of this conspiracy comprises of the US
and the Zionist lobby striking at the Islamic
Resistance Movement Hamas. The US was hoping that
the Palestinian Authority would enter into an
internal war with Hamas. We took our decision in
favour of a temporary and conditional truce in
order to avoid falling into this trap. We are
confident the ‘Road Map’ will not lead to
peace, or to the recovery of the legitimate and
‘Road Map’ is on its way to failure. That’s
if it has not already failed even before it began.
This is especially true following Sharon’s
declaration that he has fourteen reservations on
the ‘Road Map’. Finally, the ‘Road Map’ in
its essence is not a peace plan, and is deemed to
end in failure and extinction. It will share the
same fate as the Oslo agreement.
do you assess the relationship between Hamas and
the Palestinian Authority, which was only formed
initially with the aim of bring the armed
Palestinian resistance to an end? And what
effect will the appointment of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu
Mazen) as a PM have on this relationship,
especially in light of his religious beliefs and,
regional and international ties?
We strive and spare no effort for
the general interest of our people whilst
maintaining a balance in our struggle against the
occupation. We will continue to exercise all our
efforts to prevent the war from turning into an
internal Palestinian one. We always maintain an
opening for settlement with the Palestinian
Authority. However this is not going to be on the
account of our legitimate national rights, and
will not be on the account of the principles and
goals Hamas has set for itself in its efforts to
serve the supreme national interest of the
Palestinian people. The gravity is not limited to
a particular person, rather it is found in the
political agenda that this person believes in. I
cannot see a major difference between Abu
Mazen’s agenda and that of Yassir Arafat.
are the main challenges for the blessed Intifada,
and what are your priorities in these complex
First comes the US-Zionist effort
to cause internal fighting.
Then comes the major challenge of
affirming the endurance of the Palestinian people
to continue its struggle against occupation. The
Palestinian people have suffered severely, and yet
they remain alongside with the resistance. We have
very high morale with Allah’s grace. However, we
need to meet the needs of the people to help them
There is also another challenge:
The traitors and agents who undermine the security
of our internal front.
priority remains to affirm the endurance of the
Palestinian people, persisting with the Intifada
and resistance, and maintaining the unity of the
Palestinian society, Inshaallah.
can the Intifada survive in light of the truce
with the occupying enemy, especially considering
the known Zionist cunning and deception for this
nation since the time of our Prophet Muhammad
Certainly the Intifada is
continuing and shall not stop. Truce may actually
be a cause for stirring up the Intifada not
weakening it. The Zionists have nothing to offer
to our Palestinian people, and time will prove
this Inshaallah. As for the truce, it is our
opinion that truce is an exceptional, temporary
case, and its main aim is to maintain the choice
the closure of the Hamas representative offices in
Damascus, is it feasible to rely on the Arab
regimes in supporting the blessed Intifada, even
if that support was to be marginal?
We are fully aware the Arab
countries are unable to face up to the pressures
of the US, despite their hidden sympathy with the
Intifada and resistance. The truth is we have been
struggling without relying on the Arab regimes,
rather our reliance is on Allah exalted and
elevated be He, then on the Arab and Muslim
people. The closure of our representative offices
here and there will not have the least effect on
the persistence of our resistance, and will not
lead to undermining it.
do you assess the popular movements in various
parts that support the blessed Intifada? Do you
hope for any serious initiatives in your support?
And how can this be materialised?
There is no doubt the popular role
of the Arab and Muslim nations are important in
supporting the Intifada and resistance. The people
have moved strongly at various stages of the
glorious Intifada, but at times they remained
inactive, which may make it look as though the
people are hindering their support. I am confident
the Arab and Muslim people remain full of life,
but they are in need of someone to lead them and
activate them, and this is the role that must be
played by the organisations, parties and groups,
especially the Islamic ones. I certainly believe
the people have much more to offer than what they
are currently offering, but they are in need for
those who can unleash their restrained capacity.
does Hamas plan to counter the US campaign that
has global support, to prevent the Muslims in all
parts of the world from supporting their Muslim
brethren in Palestine?
US has enough power and hatred towards the
Muslims, especially the Jihad Islamic movements;
and they stand helpless in their attempts to stop
the support of the Muslims to their brethren in
the Hamas movement. As a matter of fact, the more
intense the US campaign against Hamas is, the
greater the support of Muslims to Hamas gets. This
clearly shows the defiance against the US
arrogance. There is no support from governments or
organizations to Hamas, it is only the Muslim
individuals who do so in secret ways against which
the US remain powerless.
you like to direct a word to the Muslim Ummah in
general, and the Muslim community of Australia in
beloved and honoured brothers and sisters in
faith: Firstly we realise your hearts and souls
are with us, and you hope to find yourself one day
at the same frontline with us in defence of the
Muslim lands, sacred sites and blood, and in
defence of the honour of the Muslim Ummah. We
plead with you not to limit your support to aiding
your Jihad movement, rather we strongly advise you
to boycott the goods of your enemies as much as
you can. This will cause them to weaken, and it is
a type of struggle in Allah’s cause. We also
request from the Muslim community in Australia, in
addition to their commendable efforts, that they
do not forget us from their Du’a (supplication)
to Allah, because we are in need for the Du’a of
the righteous Inshaallah. We also wish to extend
to you our deep greetings and regards.
Finally, we can only thank our
brothers in the Editing Team of Nida’ul Islam,
and ask Allah (swt) to bless their efforts and
guide them to that which He loves and is pleased