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This question asks whether Palestinian politicians have criticized Hamas.

The answers all describe Palestinian leaders/politicians who blame Hamas for the harm they've done to Gaza; but it seems as though if Gaza would have remained intact, they would have applauded Hamas' actions.

Are there any Palestinian leaders/politicians who specifically condemned Hamas' October 7th atrocities on Israeli soil as inherently morally unjust, irrespective of later consequences?

(Note that this is the true reverse of this question, which asks about Israeli leaders' condemnation of possibly immoral policies.)

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    "but it seems as though if Gaza would have remained intact, they would have applauded Hamas' actions.". Um, citation needed.
    – Darren
    Jan 4 at 14:49
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    @Darren I'm looking for a citation that disproves the assertion. So far, all the criticism I've seen is of how Hamas' atrocities brought harm down on Gazans, which doesn't disprove the assertion.
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 4 at 17:08
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    @Darren If I could prove the hypothesis, I wouldn't need to ask the question, would I? But presumably if someone felt the Hamas atrocities were evil, I'd think they would level criticism on that basis, instead of only "it's harmful to Gazans".
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 4 at 18:11
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    Not really an answer to your question but note that the Arabic version of Wikipedia says nothing about the crimes against civilians during October 7. You can verify this yourself via Google translate. This is pretty much the viewpoint in the entire Arab world. Jan 4 at 20:55
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    @user253751 the Hebrew version of the Nakba article is very objective and balanced. Compare to the Arabic version of the article about Oct 7th. Jan 8 at 7:50

5 Answers 5

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+100

Hamas, obviously, won't condemn itself. Fatah (Palestinian Authority ruling party), as an organization, felt the actions were justified

Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of Fatah’s Central Committee, on Sunday justified the October 7 massacre by Hamas that killed over a thousand people in Israel, mostly civilians, as an act “in the context of the defensive war our people are waging.”

And Mahmoud Abbas, PA President

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves against the "terror of settlers and occupation troops", the official news agency WAFA quoted him as saying.

While some individual Palestinians have condemned it, no governing bodies have done so. The Oct 7 attacks are generally popular amongst the Palestinians

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they believed the Hamas decision to launch the cross-border rampage in southern Israel was "correct" given its outcome so far, while 22% said it was "incorrect". The remainder were undecided or gave no answer.

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    The original PCPSR source of the Reuters article states Palestinians don't believe atrocities ever took place: "85% have not seen videos showing atrocities committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7th & only 7% say Hamas committed atrocities against Israeli civilians" & that the vast majority "believes that attacking or killing civilians in their homes is not permissible" & that the majority (in the West Bank) believe the same about taking civilian hostages or POWs. Thus, support for Hamas may not indicate support of atrocities.
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 4 at 21:48
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    @ZevSpitz - It's the typical cognitive dissonance. Most human beings, wherever you go, are not bad people. They don't like the idea of mass murder and pointless violence. I doubt most people are even capable of intentionally killing another human being. So when it turns out that "their side," the "good guys" did something that they consider wrong, the way to resolve the cognitive dissonance is to simply dismiss it—the Israeli media cannot be trusted, the Europeans and Americans are on their side anyway, and any other sources are probably guilty of trusting Israeli sources anyway.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jan 4 at 22:57
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    @ZevSpitz You didn't ask that question, about Palestinian civilians. You asked if there are any Palestinian leaders/politicians who specifically condemned Hamas' October 7th atrocities on Israeli soil as inherently morally unjust. Any leaders or politicians would be aware of the news by now, three months later. Jan 4 at 22:58
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    Israelis, I suspect, suffer from a similar issue. For instance, only 2% of Israelis surveyed a while back believed that the IDF was using too much force in the Gaza Strip, despite the evidence of high civilian casualties. Because, of course, it can't be that the good guys are doing something they consider to be wrong: it's just that Hamas makes all the numbers up and everyone else is guilty of trusting them uncritically.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jan 4 at 23:01
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    @Obie2.0 I think you're ignoring the emotional & psychological power of a successful invasion of Israel; something Abbas & the PA have never been able to accomplish, in spite of their internal talk of resistance. Also, it's hard to classify Abbas as a moderate. Abbas'/Fatah's/PA's goal is the destruction of Israel like Hamas; the disagreement is solely about methods & who will be in charge afterwards.
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 6 at 17:35
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Hamas ARE the Palestinian leaders. They won a parliamentary majority in Gaza's last election. The only other Palestinian leaders besides Hamas are Fatah, the former PLO. Fatah is the de facto Palestinian leadership of the West Bank.

Note that Fatah leaders (Palestinian leaders who were not Hamas) who criticized Hamas in the past were executed, e.g. thrown off of multi-story building rooftops, in 2007. Hamas Calling Card via New York Times, 2007:

Killing its political rivals execution style in the streets, in hospital shootouts, and by throwing them off the rooftops of high-rise buildings. Since then, arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances has been a hallmark of the regime.

These sort of public, extra-judicial killings in 2014 make it unlikely for anyone, be they leaders or civilians, to voice dissent with Hamas now:

Hamas carried out the summary execution of at least 23 Palestinians and the arrest and torture of dozens of others, including members and supporters of Hamas’s political rivals, Fatah.

More recently, in July 2023, the Associated Press reported:

Hamas rules Gaza with an iron fist, barring most demonstrations and quickly stamping out public displays of dissent.

Given this precedent, in the recent and more distant past, it is unlikely that any Palestinian politicians or leaders who were part of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority would be likely to criticize Hamas publicly, on the record. In fact, Palestinian Authority (West Bank) President Abbas condemned violence against civilians, including Israelis, initially. On 12 October 2023, Reuters reported :

"We reject the practices of killing civilians or abusing them on both sides because they contravene morals, religion and international law," the official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Abbas as saying.

Several hours later, Abbas's critique of Hamas was removed from the Wafa Palestinian new agency article, also reported by Reuters. On the 26th of November, Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of Fatah’s Central Committee, justified the October 7 massacre by Hamas as "an act in the context of the defensive war our people are waging".

The answer is no, none have publicly condemned the 7 October 2023 atrocities as immoral.

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    Hamas ARE the Palestinian leaders. They won a parliamentary majority in Gaza's last election. - their mandate has long expired. And even before that they lost legitimacy by rebelling against the legal authority. Hamas is no more legitimate government of Gaza than Trump is the US president. Jan 5 at 9:55
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    "Legitimate" or not, they are de facto in control of the Gaza strip.
    – qwr
    Jan 5 at 17:24
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    @qwr - Well, were. The recent Israeli invasion means that the Israeli military is currently de facto in control.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jan 9 at 21:20
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No

A senior Hamas official said that the October 7 attack against Israel were just the beginning, vowing to launch "a second, a third, a fourth" attack until the country is "annihilated" (source).

So there are no sayings of the kind like "we made some mistakes but ... ". They did that they planned to do. There are maybe some more "Palestinian leaders" like Fatah but deciding from other answers, still no.

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Mansour Abbas, head of Muslim-Israeli RAAM party, condemned the massacre. This link mentions him saying that "the Hamas attack on October 7 does not reflect Arab society and Islamic values".

Moreover, Abbas rebuked a member of his own party for doubting the October 7 massacre, which can also be seen as a condemnation.

He and two other party members came to watch a movie documenting the atrocities, and he walked out in tears. "It's difficult," he said. "I cannot speak."

Additionally, "some 150 clergymen, including Muslims, Christians, Druze and Jews, attended a screening of the video footage from Hamas’ attack on October 7... "It’s Inhuman. People don't behave like this. It's horrific. These are brutal actions that contradict Islam," were just some of their remarks following the viewing." (source).

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    Does Mansour Abbas qualify as a "Palestinian" leader? Would Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank consider him as such?
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 10 at 16:29
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    @ZevSpitz I cannot tell for sure, but I do remember that Israeli Arab leaders often refer to themselves as "Palestinians". Jan 10 at 17:56
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    Mansour Abba, I think, explicitly distance Israeli Arabs from Palestinians.
    – dEmigOd
    Jan 12 at 9:00
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Not exactly a criticism, but even Hamas top leaders seem to have realized that they had gone too far:

Saudi Arabia's dissatisfaction with Hamas is evident in how Saudi media, particularly the Al Arabiya network, has covered the war.

Journalist Haitham Hasnin noted that Saudi coverage differed from that of Qatari media. When former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal was interviewed on Al-Arabiya, he faced a relatively belligerent line of questioning.

Mashal was asked, "Do you apologize for what happened to Israeli civilians on October 7?" When the former head of Hamas's political bureau hesitated to respond, the host interjected, "You say this is legitimate resistance in your eyes, but what people in the West saw on their TV screens were Hamas' violations against civilians."

The video of this exchange and partial transcript can be found here. It is worth noting that Mashal does not explicitly condemn the atrocities, but rather considers them as an unfortunate side-effect (aka collateral damage), claiming that the Hamas attacks had purely military objectives:

Nabil: "How can you demand that the West, and the world in general, support the Palestinian cause, when the things Hamas perpetrated against the Israeli civilians are in the headlines? You know that Israel gained a lot of sympathy because of these scenes. Is treating civilians this way part of Hamas's ideology?"

Mashal: "Sister, I told you that Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and our military organizations focus their resistance on the occupation forces, on the soldiers, but in all wars, there are some civilian victims. We are not responsible for them."

Nabil: "Will you apologize for what was done to the Israeli civilians on October 7?"

Mashal: "With all due respect, your question... Forgive me for saying this... Apologies should be demanded from Israel. You asked me a question and I am answering it with clarity. Hamas does not kill civilians on purpose. It focuses on the soldiers. Period."

This largely aligns with the general Palestinian opinion, which refuses to believe that atrocities were committed on October 7, as the recent poll shows:

It is clear from the findings that believing in the “correctness” of Hamas' decision does not mean support for all acts that might have been committed by Hamas fighters on October 7. The overwhelming majority of respondents say that they have not seen videos from international or social media showing atrocities committed by Hamas members against Israeli civilians that day, such as the killing of women and children in their homes. Indeed, more than 90% believe that Hamas fighters did not commit the atrocities contained in these videos. When asked what is or is not allowed in war, under international humanitarian law, the findings indicate that the vast majority believes that attacking or killing civilians in their homes is not permissible. The majority (except in the Gaza Strip) also believe that taking civilians as hostages or prisoners of war is also not permissible.

There have been even attempts to shift the blame on Israel:
Hezbollah's Nasrallah blames IDF for massacre of Israelis
Israeli kids killed on October 7 were actors, claims Jeremy Corbyn’s brother
Palestinian Ambassador To Nigeria Abdullah Abu Shawesh On The Eve Of ICJ Hearing: We Have A Feeling That Israel Might Behead And Burn The Corpses Of Palestinian Children It Stole From Gaza To Support Its Lies About October 7

It must be further noted that Mashal and other Hamas leaders outside of Gaza are likely not in control of what Hamas military wing is doing, and therefore might adopt a softer position: Hamas leaders in Gaza ignore political leadership abroad.

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    This looks like the same interview: memri.org/tv/…
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 9 at 10:02
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    @ZevSpitz saying that he hesitated is a bit charitable. It is amusing that the journalist openly says Israel rather than Zionist entity or whatever. Jan 9 at 10:36
  • Reading the interview, it seems as though Mashal is more explicitly agreeing on the immorality of targeting civilians ("Hamas does not kill civilians on purpose. It focuses on the soldiers.") but denying that atrocities ever took place ("an accusation fabricated by Netanyahu"). I think agreement is more explicit than something inferred from a "hesitation". Could you update your answer?
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 11 at 20:40
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    Did Hamas or their supporters also deny that they kidnapped babies? Jan 12 at 12:09
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    @ErelSegal-Halevi Mashal in the cited interview says that they took "prisoners" only the Israeli soldiers and officers. It is open to the interpretation, whether they deny taking babies or whether they consider them as soldiers. Jan 15 at 14:36

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