On Sept. 30, 2021, senior officials from Hamas and other Palestinian factions attended a Hamas-funded conference discussing the administration of “Palestine” after its “liberation” from Israel.
The conference, titled “Promise of the Hereafter — Post-Liberation Palestine,” was funded by Hamas and sponsored by Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar. It was organized by the Promise of the Hereafter Institute, established in 2014. Dr. Issam Adwan, chairman of the conference’s preparatory committee and former head of Hamas’s department of refugee affairs, said that the conference’s recommendations would be presented to the Hamas leadership
The following is the conference’s concluding statement, as well as excerpts from the statements made by Sinwar and conference chairman Kanaan Obeid:
Today, on Safar 30, 1443 AH, Sept. 30, 2021, under the generous sponsorship of the leader Yahya al-Sinwar Abu Ibrahim, head of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, the Promise of the Hereafter Institute held the first strategic vision conference of its kind: the Promise of the Hereafter Conference, which formulated ideas and methods of operation [to be implemented] during the liberation of Palestine in various areas that were discussed at the conference. This complements the strategies that have been formulated by the Promise of the Hereafter Institute since its establishment in 2014, with the aim of providing a clearer vision for those in charge of liberating Palestine. The following are some of the recommendations [formulated at] the conference:
1. The sovereign body that is to lead the liberation is the Council for the Liberation of Palestine, which is to include all the Palestinian and Arab forces who endorse the idea of liberating Palestine, with the backing of friendly countries.
2. The liberation of Palestine is the collective duty of the entire [Islamic] nation, first and foremost of the Palestinian people. It is [therefore] crucial to formulate a plan for utilizing the nation’s resources and dividing the labor among its different components, each according to its abilities. That is the responsibility of the Council for the Liberation of Palestine.
3. The Council for the Liberation of Palestine will be headed by a general secretariat, led by a steering council, which, upon the liberation of Palestine, will become an executive council headed by an interim presidential council until the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections and the formation of a new government.
4. Immediately after the liberation, the liberation forces will issue a Palestinian independence document setting out the Palestinian principles, highlighting the Palestinian national identity and its Arab, Islamic, regional and international depth. The formulation of this document will be overseen by a team of experts in the spheres of politics, law and media, for this will be a historic document on the legal and humanitarian levels, a direct continuation of the Pact of ‘Umar bin al-Khattab and of the announcement issued by Salah al-Din upon his liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque [in 1187. According to Islamic tradition, the Pact of ‘Umar was signed between the Second Caliph ‘Umar bin al-Khattab and Sophronius, the Christian patriarch of Jerusalem, upon the Islamic conquest of the city in 638.].
5. Following the liberation, the Palestinian judicial system will be directly regulated by an interim basic law that will allow implementing the laws from before the establishment of the independent state, each in its area of application, as long as they do not contradict the content of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence or the laws that will be legislated and ratified by the judiciary authorities in Palestine during the interim period or after it, until the unification of the judiciary authorities in Palestine—because the disappearance of states [i.e. Israel] does not mean the disappearance of legal effects, for the law is not abolished but rather amended by another law.
6. The liberation forces will declare a series of interim laws, to be formulated in advance, including a land and real estate law granting [these forces] control over all state lands and assets, as well as laws [regulating the activity of] the civil service, the interim government, the Palestinian army, the judiciary and security [apparatuses], the return [of the refugees], the [state] comptroller and the municipal authorities.
7. A [document] will be prepared declaring the application of Palestinian sovereignty over the 1948 territories, setting out a position on various agreements and contracts.
8. An announcement will be addressed to the U.N. declaring that the state of Palestine has succeeded the occupation state and will enjoy the rights of the occupation state, based on the articles of the 1978 Vienna Convention on Succession of States. [Article 2b of this convention states that “‘succession of states’ means the replacement of one state by another in the responsibility for the international relations of territory.”]
9. Upon the liberation, the fate of the national agreements signed by the occupation or the Palestinian Authority will be at the discretion of the Palestinian state, given that the circumstances that prevailed during the occupation of Palestine are not similar to the circumstances that will prevail later. Therefore, it will be possible to consider these agreements from a different perspective, should the [Palestinian] state be inclined to renounce these commitments, born of international agreements that are the basis for the changing circumstances addressed by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
10. The state of Palestine is likely to inherit from the defunct state of “Israel” the agreements delineating the borders with Egypt and Jordan, as well as the economic zone delimitation agreements with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, the passage and shipping rights in the Gulf of Aqaba, etc. Wise diplomacy will surely find a way to ensure that no side’s interests in the international agreements will suffer, neither the [interests of] the succeeding state (Palestine) or of the other states.
11. A committee of legal experts will be established today, to study all the agreements, contracts and organizations that the state of “Israel” has joined, and submit recommendations regarding each of them, determining which agreements the state of Palestine [should] choose to inherit and which it [should] not.
12. The international community and the peoples of the world will be addressed, in order to clarify Palestine’s foreign policy, based on cooperation and mutual respect; a first diplomatic meeting of the ambassadors and representatives of the [various] states will be held in Palestine, in Jerusalem, the city of peace and freedom, so as to underscore the adherence of the free state of Palestine to the international commitments that promote security, stability and development in the region and the world; letters will be sent to the U.N., the ambassadors of the various states and the representatives of the various religions in Palestine.
13. It is inconceivable that one should lose ownership over one’s land … Therefore, land must be restored to its owners as long as no strategically [important] buildings or facilities have been built on it, in which case the owners will receive fair compensation, in money or land.
14. A basis for a financial administration must be established, which will be ready to start operating immediately, [even] during the liberation efforts … To this end, the new Palestinian junayh [the Palestinian junayh was the currency of Mandatory Palestine] should be circulated at the crucial juncture, in order to prevent a deterioration of the situation, and it should be introduced domestically even now, so that people will become accustomed to it. In addition, we may agree with one of the neighboring Arab countries on the use of its currency on a temporary basis during the interim period. In any case the conference advises the Palestinian people not to keep [Israeli] shekels but to change their savings into gold, dollars or dinars.
15. In dealing with the Jewish settlers on Palestinian land, there must be a distinction in attitude towards [the following]: a fighter, who must be killed; a [Jew] who is fleeing and can be left alone or be prosecuted for his crimes in the judicial arena; and a peaceful individual who gives himself up and can be [either] integrated or given time to leave. This is an issue that requires deep deliberation and a display of the humanism that has always characterized Islam.
16. Educated Jews and experts in the areas of medicine, engineering, technology and civilian and military industry should be retained [in Palestine] for some time and should not be allowed to leave and take with them the knowledge and experience that they acquired while living in our land and enjoying its bounty, while we paid the price for all this in humiliation, poverty, sickness, deprivation, killing and arrests.
17. The return of the refugees must be prepared for gradually, by coordinating in advance with the host countries and establishing temporary absorption centers near the borders with these countries. In this interim period, [the refugees] will register with the census bureau and be issued identity cards, and the Law of Return will be applied to them.
18. The minute “Israel” collapses, the interim government’s security apparatuses must put their hands on the data regarding the agents of the occupation in Palestine, in the region and [throughout] the world, and [discover] the names of the recruiters, Jewish and non-Jewish, in the country and abroad. This is invaluable information that must not be lost, [for] using this information we can purge Palestine and the Arab and Islamic homeland of the hypocrite scum that spread corruption in the land. This important information will enable us to pursue the fleeing criminals who massacred our people.
19. A guide book must be compiled explaining the mechanism for repatriating all the refugees who wish to return, and the international community must be charged to do its duty of helping in their repatriation and in realizing the plans for absorbing them in their cities. Wealthy Palestinians must be encouraged to contribute [to the repatriation project] through housing, employment and investment activity.
20. When the campaign for the liberation of Palestine begins, the Palestinian fighters will be too busy to secure Palestine’s resources. This means that there will be others, not engaged in warfare but possessing physical and mental abilities and the required training, who will be recruited to popular committees which can be called “guard teams.” These will comprise men over 40 years of age, as well as women, Palestinians from inside and outside Palestine, whose main job will be to secure the resources of the land and monitor them. They will be trained and then assigned to [different] work teams. Each team will familiarize itself with the institutions and resources it must secure, and record their [status] in an application that will upload [the information] into a central database, part of an administrative system coordinated with the military commander. Preparations for this will begin right now, first of all in the Gaza Strip.
In sum, the time has come to act. Preparations for the liberation of Palestine began with the spirit of liberation that emanated from this conference, and from the preparations of the fighters whose souls yearn to liberate the land of Palestine and its holy places. We are headed for the victory that Allah promised his servants: “O you who have believed, if you support Allah , He will support you and plant firmly your feet [Quran 47:7]”; “They will say, ‘When is that?’ Say, ‘Perhaps it will be soon’ [Quran 17:51].”
Sinwar: “Liberation is the heart of Hamas’s strategic vision”
In his statement to the conference, Sinwar said that “the battle for the liberation and the return to Palestine has become closer now than ever before.” Sinwar emphasized the importance of preparing for what was to come, citing as an example the “Sword of Jerusalem” battle—i.e. the May 2021 Hamas-Israel conflict, called “Operation Guardian of the Walls” by Israel.
This conflict, he said, “Did not suddenly break out … rather, the resistance had prepared for it with years of planning, training and military and intelligence development.”
The wider conflict with Israel, he said, can end “only with the implementation of the promise of victory and control that Allah gave us—that our people will live with dignity in its independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. To this end, we are working hard and making many efforts on the ground and in its depths, in the heart of the sea, and in the heights of the heavens … We [can already] see with our eyes the [imminent] liberation and therefore we are preparing for what will come after it.”
Liberation, he continued, “is the heart of Hamas’s strategic vision, that speaks of the full liberation of Palestine from the sea to the river, the Palestinian refugees’ return to their homeland, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty over its lands, with Jerusalem as its capital … We are sponsoring this conference because it is in line with our assessment that victory is nigh.”
Hamas political bureau member Mahmoud al-Zahhar referred to the battle of the End of Days, saying in an interview with the Gaza Filastin daily that the Palestinian people and the entire Islamic nation stood at the beginning of a final battle, in which Lebanon, Syria and Jordan must participate. He added that “their participation will finish off the occupation entity in a single day.” The battle of the End of Days will, he said, be a bigger and more intense version of the May 2021 “Sword of Jerusalem” battle.
Conference chairman Kanaan Obeid: “Israel’s disappearance will be a historic event; We have a registry of Israeli apartments, institutions and resources.”
According to Obeid, “The aim of establishing ‘The Promise of the Hereafter’ institute in 2014 was to act to implement in every way the vision of the phase that will follow liberation—with regard to the economy, politics, security and society.”
Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 “was an experience of liberation, and we learned a lesson from it—particularly when the resources of the [abandoned Israeli] settlements [in Gaza] were lost,” he said.
“We said [to ourselves] that there is no escape from establishing an institution that will be in charge of preparations and of drawing up the plans for the post-liberation stage,” he added.
“We have a registry of the numbers of Israeli apartments and institutions, educational institutions and schools, gas stations, power stations and sewage systems, and we have no choice but to get ready to manage them … We believe that the liberation [will come] within a few years, [and] that the disappearance of Israel will be an unprecedented historic event on the regional and global levels, that will have global ramifications.”
He also called on Palestinians to “get rid of the [Israeli] shekel, because it will have zero value—just as the occupation will have zero value.”
This article was first published by the Middle East Media Research Institute.