The declaration of the Islamic State on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan threatens once again to embroil the recently reconciled PLO and Hamas in renewed and violent confrontation after just ending their seven year internecine feud - destroying any hope of ever achieving a Palestinian Arab State between Jordan and Israel.
The Islamic State is a self styled Caliphate - a system of rule that ended in 1924 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
The statement declaring its establishment reads:
Here the flag of the Islamic State … rises and flutters. Its shade covers land from Aleppo [Syria] and Diyala [Iraq].The infidels are disgraced. The Sunnis are masters and are esteemed. The people of heresy are humiliated. The Sharia penalties are implemented, all of them.The front lines are defended, crosses and graves demolished. Governors and judges have been appointed, a tax has been enforced and courts will resolve disputes and complaints.
The Islamic State already controls large swathes of northern Iraq after a sustained assault which began with the overthrow of Iraqi control of the country's second largest city of Mosul, near the Syrian border, on June 9.
Over the last two years it has established a strong presence in parts of Syria, controlling key oil fields in eastern Syria in the area bordering Iraq, levying taxes and other penalties and implementing strict Sharia law on besieged communities.
At its head as Caliph - the self-proclaimed successor to the Prophet Mohammed - is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - whose spokesman has made his intentions clear:
"The time has come for those generations that were drowning in oceans of disgrace, being nursed on the milk of humiliation, and being ruled by the vilest of all people, after their long slumber in the darkness of neglect - the time has come for them to rise,"
Will Hamas rise and throw its weight behind this new Caliph - given the following provisions of Article 11 of the Hamas Charter:
... Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection. Who can presume to speak for all Islamic Generations to the Day of Resurrection? This is the status [of the land] in Islamic Shari'a, and it is similar to all lands conquered by Islam by force, and made thereby Waqf lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. This [norm] has prevailed since the commanders of the Muslim armies completed the conquest of Syria and Iraq, and they asked the Caliph of Muslims, 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, for his view of the conquered land, whether it should be partitioned between the troops or left in the possession of its population, or otherwise. Following discussions and consultations between the Caliph of Islam, 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, and the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, be peace and prayer upon him, they decided that the land should remain in the hands of its owners to benefit from it and from its wealth; but the control of the land and the land itself ought to be endowed as a Waqf [in perpetuity] for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. The ownership of the land by its owners is only one of usufruct, and this Waqf will endure as long as Heaven and earth last. Any demarche in violation of this law of Islam, with regard to Palestine, is baseless and reflects on its perpetrators.
Hamas has reserved the right to resist the temptation to blindly pledge its allegiance to this newly declared Caliph and the Islamic State under article 23 of the Hamas Charter:
The Hamas views the other Islamic movements with respect and appreciation. Even when it differs from them in one aspect or another or on one concept or another, it agrees with them in other aspects and concepts. It reads those movements as included in the framework of striving [for the sake of Allah], as long as they hold sound intentions and abide by their devotion to Allah, and as along as their conduct remains within the perimeter of the Islamic circle.
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