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Netanyahu calls US mainstream media 'fake news' for false reporting about Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling out mainstream media sources for disseminating "fake news" about a new Hamas political document that claims it has accepting the 1967 borders. (Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to social media on Sunday to blast the mainstream media as "fake news" after various outlets reported that the Islamic group known as "Hamas" is accepting a Palestinian state along 1967 lines.

This new position from Hamas comes from a new document labeled, "A Document of General Principles and Policies," which highlights a set of changes to the original Hamas charter of 1988. This new document claims it now recognizes the border lines of Israel before the 1967 armistice, and that it declares independence from the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Ever wonder what fake news is?” Netanyahu asked in a video posted to YouTube. “Last week, headlines in CNN, Al Jazeera and The Guardian said Hamas now accepts a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines. The New York Times headline called this ‘moderation.’”

Mainstream media sources, including the New York Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, and The Guardian, all reported that Hamas had now accepted the 1967 lines. The New York Times — as mentioned by Netanyahu — ran an article with a headline that read, "In Palestinian Power Struggle, Hamas Moderates Talk On Israel."

Netanyahu claimed that this news may seem positive, but in reality Hamas has no intention of seeking common ground with Israel.

“The intimation is that Hamas now accepts the state of Israel,” Netanyahu continued. “Great news, right? Well, except for one small detail: This is a complete distortion of the truth. The new Hamas document says Israel has no right to exist. It says every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians."

Indeed, while the Hamas addendum does claim to recognize the 1967 border, it also states that it does not recognize "the legitimacy of the Zionist entity." Also, the new document rejects the Oslo Accords, under which the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized the right of Israel to exist.

"Whatever has befallen the land of Palestine in terms of occupation, settlement building, Judaization or changes to its features or falsification of facts is illegitimate. Rights never lapse," read the Hamas document.

Netanyahu argued that Hamas is still an organization that backs terrorism, and has no interest in peace with Israel.

“Hamas murders women and children," Netanyahu said. "It [has] launched thousands of missile attacks at our homes. It brainwashes Palestinian kids in suicide kindergarten camps."

“So, where does this hate-filled document belong?”  Netanyahu asked.

In the video, the Israeli prime minister is then seen crumbling up a copy of the new Hamas addendum, and throwing it into a trash can.

“Hamas’s document is a smoke screen,” he said in a statement shortly after the Hamas document was released. “We see Hamas continuing to invest all of its resources not just in preparing for war with Israel, but also in educating the children of Gaza to want to destroy Israel.”

Just last March, Israel authorities arrested Muhammad Murtaja, the Gaza branch head of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) after it was discovered that he was using money given to his branch for humanitarian purposes to arm and train Hamas operatives against Israel.

Israeli authorities say that Hamas had recruited Murtaja in 2008, and has since been diverting aid money to Hamas's military wing. The Israeli Government Press Office stated that "this fraud was carried out in collusion with the senior ranks of Hamas in Gaza, headed by Ismail Haniyeh."

They added that on top of using aid money to fund military causes against Israel, Murtaja was also seeking "information that would improve the accuracy of Hamas rockets being launched at Israel."

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