1. On May 1, 2017, Hamas published a political document entitled “A Document of General Principles and Policies” (hereinafter: the “Political Document”). This document, which includes 42 sections, was published on the Hamas website in two versions: an Arabic version and a version translated into English (see appendices). An examination of the two versions reveals that there are slight differences in the translation into English compared with the Arabic source, but no significant differences were found between them. The document was published at the end of Khaled Mash’al’s term as chairman of the movement’s political bureau and was presented by him at a press conference in Qatar (May 1, 2017).
2. The Political Document is intended to update the ideology and basic concepts that appeared in the 1988 Hamas Charter.
The document was aimed to adapt them to the current strategic reality, which has changed unrecognizably since the charter was written. The differences in the (Arabic) names of these documents – charter (mithaq) versus document (wathiqa) – are not semantic, since the term “charter” is more binding than “document”. The Political Document is short and seems more like a political platform than a basic ideological document. Nowhere in the document (or anywhere else) does it state that it replaces the Charter, which, in the ITIC’s assessment, remains a fundamental document expressing Hamas’s ideology and basic principles.