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How Hamas plans to rebrand internationally

It is thought that a policy document being finalized by Hamas will reflect a new flexibility in the movement's policies and perspectives.
Palestinian Hamas supporters shout slogans during a rally marking the 29th anniversary of the founding of the Hamas movement, in Gaza city December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem - RTX2UZFP
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With Hamas expected to hold elections in the coming weeks to select new leaders, media attention has turned to the movement releasing a new policy document in the near future that will reflect its current stance toward political events and lay out a road map for its foreign relations. Al-Monitor shed light on the document's development last October, but it remains unclear to observers — and is thought to be a topic of debate within Hamas — whether it is simply a policy statement or an amendment of Hamas’ founding principles laid out in its 1988 charter.

Sami Khater, a member of Hamas' political bureau, told Al-Monitor, “The policy document reflects Hamas' orientation 30 years after its inception, in 1987. It does not constitute a review of its positions on the liberation of Palestinian territories, although it shows flexibility in terms of the conflict with the Israeli occupation. It stresses that [Hamas] is a national Palestinian movement that has its own institutions and makes decisions that are not dictated by any foreign party. The document affirms that Islam is its ideological reference and is an expression of Hamas’ political and intellectual maturity.”

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