Hamas' vision and hopes for the day after the war in Gaza

Sources close to the terrorist organization's leadership say Hamas intends to demand the release of high-profile terrorists in order to undermine the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas in West Bank

Hamas is interested in achieving the release senior terrorists convicted of murder, who constitute opposition to the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, following the war with Israel, the Jordanian newspaper Rai Al-Youm published Thursday in a report on Hamas’ intentions following the war with Israel. The move aims to create a new reality in the West Bank and replace the current Palestinian leadership.
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A source close to Hamas leadership said the organization insists on including the release of senior figures in the next hostage release deal, including Marwan Barghouti, who is currently imprisoned in Israel, and Ahmad Sa'adat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) responsible for the assassination of Israeli government minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001.
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 Marwan Barghouti, Mahmoud Abbas
 Marwan Barghouti, Mahmoud Abbas
Marwan Barghouti, Mahmoud Abbas
(Photo: AP)
According to the report, Hamas still views the release of about 2,500 Palestinian prisoners and terrorists, as a top priority. However, the next political stage for the organization’s politburo is to promise the release of Barghouti and Sa'adat as part of the first step in a new political framework the organization seeks to secure.
Hamas essentially wants to rebuild the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the organization believes the release of Barghouti and Sa'adat will greatly assist in "influencing a new national project."
According to the scenario outlined in the report, it’s estimated that a hostage release deal that includes Israeli soldiers will also include "a broad elite from all Palestinian factions and prominent leaders in the West Bank," emphasizing figures who reject Abbas’ policies and are viewed as opposition to the PA.
In this way, Hamas is effectively promoting the establishment of a new Palestinian Authority, since the release of Palestinian figures aligned with the opposition will give Hamas further legitimacy. In this context, in the latest popular poll held in the West Bank and Gaza, Barghouti gained significant support as Abbas’ potential successor.
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אחמד סעדאת
אחמד סעדאת
Ahmad Sa'adat
(Photo: Reuters)
According to the Jordanian report, the ongoing negotiations are said to be ignoring the disputes that have arisen so far regarding the categories of Israeli hostages defined by Israel. It was also noted that the release of specific leaders of the Fatah movement, led by Marwan Barghouti, is one of the topics on which a decision has already been made, and has even been conveyed to his wife, Fadwa Barghouti, via an intermediary.
A source close to Hamas leadership confirmed in the article that Barghouti and Sa'adat are two figures “sought after" by Hamas when discussing the release of Israeli hostages. This is because they are considered "high-priority" prisoners, and their release would increase Hamas's legitimacy and undermine the PA and Abbas’ efforts in the eyes of Palestinians.
From Hamas's perspective, the report said, Barghouti and Sa'adat’s release “won’t be negotiable in critical moments.”
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