Palestinians injured in West Bank clashes with Israeli troops

In an interview with Wafa, PA spokesperson, Tareq Reshmawi, slammed the occupation's detention of thousands of Palestinians, including children, women and sick prisoners, calling on the global community to stop Israel's crimes, which he said "seriously violates all worldwide laws".

"We wanted to present a document that truly reflects Hamas' ideology and consensus and to present it to our supporters. and the worldwide community", said Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of Hamas.

Meshaal is expected to step down as leader of Hamas after serving the maximum two terms. "This is the real Hamas".

Mohammed Shtayyeh, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee which runs the Palestinian Authority, and an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Hamas of being decades behind in its thinking. "Palestine will continue to resort to global bodies to hold Israel, the occupation power, accountable for its grave violations of worldwide law throughout occupied Palestine".

But according to diplomatic sources, the new document has been in preparation for years and has been the subject of intense debate between the various Hamas factions in Gaza, in exile and in prison.

Leaders of the group have vowed they will not budge.

Efforts by Hamas and Fatah to heal the schism and unite the two territories have repeatedly failed and Abbas, who is due to visit U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House May 3, has promised "unprecedented measures" to pressure Hamas to let the Palestinian Authority re-establish control.

For his part, Korb said these protests by Palestinian prisoners will have an impact on Israel, because there is no unanimity about how to handle the situation.

It remained unclear whether the document replaces or changes in any way Hamas's 1988 charter, which calls for Israel's destruction and is the Islamist group's covenant.

Hamas on Monday unveiled a new policy document easing its stance on Israel after having called for years for the country's destruction, as the Palestinian movement seeks to improve its worldwide standing.

The Palestine Liberation Organization, now led by Abbas, exchanged letters of mutual recognition with Israel in 1993.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the group had to move beyond its original charter to achieve its goals.

Over the years, Hamas has carried out shooting, bombing and rocket attacks in Israel. But Hamas has fallen short of saying that it would officially recognize Israel as a state. Four years in the drafting, the document represents the consensus of Hamas's top leadership.

Ismail Haniyeh, the Gaza-based deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, said at an event in the Gaza Strip on Sunday that "the new document will undermine neither our principles nor our strategy".

The Mashaal announcement was initially scheduled for 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) Monday, but was delayed after a Doha hotel withdrew consent at the last minute to host the Hamas news conference.

  • Tracy Klein