German tagesschau quotes Israeli journalist Ehud Yaari about Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza:

Das erklärte Ziel Sinwars sei es, alle Menschen in Israel entweder zu töten oder zu vertreiben.


The declared goal of Sinwar is, to either displace or kill all people in Israel.

That is more radical than the Hamas Charter, either the 1988 or the 2017 version, and also more radical than statements by senior Hamas figures, which either allow Jews to live as a minority in an Islamist Palestine, or aims to displace or kill all Jews. Neither charter seems consistent with killing or displacing all people in Israel, which would include Palestinians and non-Jewish immigrants.

Perhaps Mr. Sinwar considers all Palestinians in Israel as traitors/collaborators that must be killed or displaced, but I would expect such a viewpoint to be controversial even within Hamas.

Has Mr. Sinwar publicly stated he wishes to kill or displace all people in Israel, or is there otherwise evidence this is his goal?

  • I suppose reasonable people could disagree on what precisely he means about "wiping out Israel": timesofisrael.com/… It reminds me of discussions over what Iran meant years ago about "wiping Israel off the map", or even what the slogan "from the river to the sea" actually means.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 18:39
  • This long BBC story about Sinwar is also largely referenced with quotes from Yaari, but the claim in Q doesn't appear there, so alas it looks like we're stuck with the German version. Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 2:58
  • This question seems to be about intentions and thus off-topic for this website.
    – Christian
    Commented Mar 17 at 0:37
  • @Christian It's not about his intent. It's about his words.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 17 at 20:34
  • @gerrit : The source does not cite him for using specific words.
    – Christian
    Commented Mar 20 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


First it should be said that the counter-claim made in the question that "[n]either charter seems consistent with killing or displacing all people in Israel, which would include Palestinians and non-Jewish immigrants", is very debatable. I will not get into a detailed analysis but I think the Wikipedia article leaves this very much in doubt. One could cherry-pick details to support this interpretation, or do the same to support the complete opposite. I will put this question aside.

As for the primary claim attributed to Yaari, it is notable that according to The Times of Israel, the Hamas-affiliated Shebab outlet reported that Sinwar stated months after adoption of current 2017 Hamas charter:

Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel

Shebab's website appears to be offline at the moment, but I can see via Internet Archive that it is in Arabic. I hope maybe at some point someone proficient in Arabic can confirm the original quote.

Assuming the translation quoted above is accurate, it is not reasonable to interpret this as evidence of what Yaari said. However, there remains at least some room for debate here. The language of "wiping" Israel away has a complex history with respect to Iran, a major sponsor of Hamas. Iran has claimed that wiping Israel off the map means "the defeat of Zionist ideology and the dissolution of Israel through a 'popular referendum.'" Of course, supporters of Israel will say this is patently absurd.

In conclusion, I think we have no firm conclusion, because Hamas is ambiguous in its statements. I say this with the important caveat that an Arabic speaker might debunk the key statement that seems to support Yaari's claim. In that case, I would say Yaari's claim is an overstatement of the facts, but the question's own claims about the meaning of the Hamas charter remains a separate question.

  • 1
    This is not an answer to the question, this is at most a comment.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 1:33
  • 3
    There is a leap in this question, and I am not sure if it is fair. "Did X say Y?" "Well, X said Z, and and there is debate about whether that could possibly mean Y." Sure, but did X also say Y? (The trouble with quote questions is they are very hard to falsify.)
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 1:41
  • 1
    @oddthinking If your point is that the question should be closed, I might not object to that. There are no votes to close the question, but I am being downvoted for a good faith effort to answer it.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 1:53
  • 2
    @SIMEL: To Fizz's point, if this is a question about intent, I would close it in a heartbeat. My German isn't good enough to fully understand the claim, but the translation suggests that Yaari says that Sinwar explicitly stated this was his [Sinwar's] goal. If Yaari doesn't mean that Sinwar said that explicitly, we should close.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 2:41
  • 2
    @BrianZ: Oh, I am sorry. I meant to write "There is a leap in this answer, and I am not sure if it is fair. " I apologise for causing this confusion.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 3:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .