Izzat al-Rishq, a senior political member of Hamas, has admitted that there is no true separation between the terrorist organization's political and military wings.
Al-Rishq published a message yesterday (Monday), in which he explained the decision-making process within Hamas. According to him, the top leaders and advisers come up with plans, then the political and military bureaus give their approval and decide how to carry them out. It is only at that point that the two separate.
Al-Rishq emphasized that the two wings use different means to achieve a common goal. As the group frequently states, the goal is to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible.
A number of countries and political entities, including the European Union from 2001 until 2003 and Egypt since this past January, list the "military wing" of Hamas as a terrorist group but treat the "political wing" as legitimate – a distinction which Israel has long objected to and which such statements appear to discredit.
But ironically, Al-Rishq claims that the distinction is in fact an attempt to "discredit" the organization.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hamas's founders and its spiritual head who was killed by Israel in 2004, made a similar statement in 1998.