« we want the war to end » said Husam Badran (member of Hamas bureau).

Dans l’interview (facilité par Xavier Houzel) qu’il a accordé à Benoit Faucon pour le Wall Street Journal Husam Badran avance de nombreuses pistes pour essayer d’en finir avec la guerre.

Quelques extraits :

Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’s Doha-based political bureau, told The Wall Street Journal: “It will be a national dialogue. » “We have always said the PLO should contain any Palestinian faction.”

“We want to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem,” Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’s Doha-based political bureau, 

“We don’t fight just because we want to fight. We are not partisans of a zero-sum game,”“We want the war to end,” he said.

WSJ Dec.19

Husam Badran, a Hamas leader, says the group’s Doha-based political bureau wants the war to end. PHOTO: OMER ENSAR/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
DOHA, Qatar—Hamas’s political leaders have been talking with their Palestinian rivals about how to govern Gaza and the West Bank after the war ends, a fraught negotiation that threatens to put them at odds with the militant wing fighting Israel.

The talks are the clearest sign that Hamas’s political faction is starting to plan for what follows the conflict.

“We don’t fight just because we want to fight. We are not partisans of a zero-sum game,” Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’s Doha-based political bureau, told The Wall Street Journal during an interview at a villa on the outskirts of the Qatari capital. “We want the war to end,” he said.

The Hamas leader’s statement marks a sharp turn from Oct. 7, when the militant wing of the group led an assault that killed more than 1,200 Israelis. Now, after more than two months of war, and about 20,000 Palestinian casualties in Gaza, according to health authorities there, Hamas’s political wing is talking about an end to the conflict.

“We want to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem,” Badran said.

Hamas’s Doha-based politburo is, on paper, in charge of the group’s affairs around the world, including in Gaza. But the divisions between the politburo and its officials inside Gaza, which includes a military wing, have sharpened since the war began.

Hamas’s governing structure
Showing the structure of the hamas governing structure, it all stems from the Politburo at the top and governs down from there.

Leader: Ismail Haniyeh

Includes 15 members

Shura Council

Group that elects the Politburo,

unknown number of members



Imprisoned members’ affairs

Leader: Salameh Katawi

Palestinian diasporic affairs

Leader: Khaled Meshaal

West Bank affairs

Leader: Saleh al-Arouri

Gazan affairs

Leader: Yahya Sinwar

Social welfare


Hamas government

Leader: Prime Minister

Issam al-Da’alis

Implements policy

Izz ad-Din al-Qassam


Commanders: Marwan Issa

and Mohammed Deif


operating cells

Security forces


Local authorities

Source: Council on Foreign Relations
The U.S. has been pressing Israeli and Palestinian leaders to begin thinking about what happens after the conflict in Gaza ends. Israel has said it doesn’t want to re-occupy Gaza, but that means putting in some other security force.

Some of the options being considered are a multinational peacekeeping force involving Arab nations, which Hamas and the Palestinian Authority reject. Another option is a revitalized Palestinian Authority with its own security force.

While Hamas has long had a conflicted relationship with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents Palestinians at the United Nations and other international meetings, Badran and other Hamas political leaders now say they want to join its umbrella of political groups.

“It will be a national dialogue,” Badran said. “We have always said the PLO should contain any Palestinian faction.”

The entrance hall of the villa—lined with the portraits of Palestinians killed by the Israelis—speaks to that vision. It includes founder Yasser Arafat’s second in command, Khalil al-Wazir; the leaders of two Marxist groups; and Hamas founders Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi.

In recent days, Hamas has been secretly reaching out to the leaders of Fatah, the dominant faction of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Badran and other Hamas officials say the talks have also included Mohammed Dahlan, a former Gaza security chief with close Emirati and Egyptian connections, and former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Dahlan said in a separate interview he is in daily contact with Hamas.

“I am no friend of Hamas,” he said. “But do you think anybody is going to be able to run to make peace without Hamas?”

Photos of former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan, who says he is in daily contact with Hamas. PHOTO: SAID KHATIB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Senior Hamas political leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal have been directly involved in those talks, which on the Fatah side include Hussein Al-Sheikh, the No. 2 in the PLO, people familiar with the discussions said. Al-Sheikh is in charge of its negotiations as well as the top liaison to the Israeli government, and is regarded as a potential successor to Mahmoud Abbas, the current head of the organization. Al-Sheikh declined to comment. Badran said Al-Sheikh hadn’t met Hamas’s political leaders in Doha.

Badran said being part of a coalition would facilitate talks with the international community, particularly European nations reluctant to work with Hamas, which is under sanctions.

The Hamas political leaders in these talks indicated that they would be willing to join the PLO and support negotiations under a unity government for a Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

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But Badran said that Hamas had no plans to demilitarize or change its stance on Israel, which it refuses to recognize, at least as long as the occupation continues. “The world has no right to ask when people are being killed,” he said. “It’s not logical to ask this question at this time.”

For some, Hamas’s outreach is a sign of desperation as Israeli operations expand and Gaza slips away from the group’s military control.

“The political leadership thinks that Gaza may be lost,” said Ehud Yaari, a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They don’t believe that Sinwar and his people can withstand the Israeli offensive for long, so they want to make a deal now.”

According to an Israeli official and the people familiar with the discussions, the political leadership’s talks with Fatah have created tensions with Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas’s military wing based in Gaza. Sinwar, according to those people, doesn’t want Hamas to continue to govern Gaza, but thinks the war isn’t lost yet and says it is too early to compromise.

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, right, met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the West Bank city of Ramallah last month. PHOTO: NASSER NASSER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sinwar, who wasn’t informed about the political leadership’s talks, demanded they be stopped when he found out they were taking place, according to the people familiar with the talks.

Badran denied any rift between Hamas’s Gaza branch and its political leadership in Doha. “The leadership of Hamas, both inside Gaza and outside it, is in complete agreement on strategies and political positions across various issues,” he said.

Publicly, the political and militant wings of Hamas say they agree on the issues. A spokesperson for the militant wing in Gaza couldn’t be reached for comment.

For now, Badran says Hamas is seeking a full-scale ceasefire with Israel, rather than a truce, which would lead to talks to exchange all remaining Israeli hostages for all Palestinian prisoners. “If there is a ceasefire, our stance is crystal clear: We want an exchange of all-for-all,” he said.

Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas’s military wing based in Gaza, demanded a stop to the political leadership’s talks. PHOTO: AHMED DEEB FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Badran, who learned Hebrew while in an Israeli jail, said his impression from reading Israeli reaction online was increasingly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, particularly after the death of three hostages accidentally killed by the Israeli army in Gaza.

Badran said 60 hostages had been killed during the fighting in Gaza out of the 150 Israel says were still held hostage after the first exchange, and that Israel would need to negotiate with Hamas to get them out. “The Israeli army is not suited to retrieve the prisoners alive,” he said. “It can only be achieved through negotiations.”

But any power-sharing agreement between Hamas and Fatah might face opposition from Mahmoud Abbas, 88 years old, who has run the Palestinian Authority since 2005 even after his mandate expired in 2009. The Palestinians “have been deprived of any choice for long, long years,” Badran said, adding that Hamas had held talks with neither Abbas nor the Palestinian Authority.

Years of attempts by Hamas and Fatah to reconcile their differences and form a unity government have failed partly over Hamas’s refusal to disband its military wing. The two sides have also fought over the mechanisms to oversee and enforce national elections.

But the biggest obstacle to any agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas on governing Gaza would likely be Israel, which has consistently said its goal is to destroy the militant group. Asked about the possibility of Hamas joining the Palestinian Authority and playing a role in postwar Gaza, an Israeli official said the idea was “unrealistic.”

The idea could also face opposition from the U.S., which wants a Palestinian Authority security force to crack down on Hamas after the war and to administer Gaza, said Diana Buttu, a former Palestinian peace negotiator. “They essentially want the PA’s role as Israel’s security subcontractor in the West Bank to be expanded into Gaza,” she said.

Buttu said the U.S. is willing to pump more money into the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, but neither side has presented a sustainable political framework. “There is a longstanding and continuing false promise of Palestinian statehood,” she said.

Buttu places the blame on Americans for pressuring the Palestinian Authority not to work with Hamas, and expresses doubts about the stated goal of destroying the group.

“They have always been part of the political landscape since their founding,” Buttu said. “It’s a fantasy that they can be eliminated.”

Omar Abdel-Baqui and William Mauldin contributed to this article.

Write to Benoit Faucon at benoit.faucon@wsj.com, Summer Said at summer.said@wsj.com and Dov Lieber at dov.lieber@wsj.com