The Hamas Charter explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction and the transformation of the territory between the Mediterranean and Jordan into a Palestinian Islamic State. Hamas was listed by Canada as a terrorist organization, and fund-raising for Hamas was banned in Canada, on November 27, 2002.
Hamas has killed more than 500 Israeli civilians and soldiers in terror attacks, including suicide bombings, since 1993, on both sides of the Green Line. Since Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas has significantly enhanced its military power with weapons smuggled from Sinai. It has refused to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. It has maintained a daily barrage of Qassam missiles on Sderot. And it has engaged Fatah in an escalating power struggle that has destroyed the economic potential and national dreams of the Palestinian people.
On March 29, 2006, Canada was the first country to suspend direct aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority because of its refusal to meet the criteria for international legitimacy: an end to violence; unconditional recognition of Israel; and acceptance of previous agreements, including the Roadmap. At the same time, Canada reaffirmed its commitment to support the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and work with Palestinian moderates – in practical terms, this meant directing Canadian aid to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah-led PA in the West Bank.
On January 2, 2006, Stephen Harper told CIJA that, “If institutions committed to terrorism are playing a role in the Palestinian state…that is an indication to me that the road to [Palestinian] democracy has not been traveled very far. Democracy and the continued advocacy of terrorism are fundamentally incompatible objectives.” The relevancy of Mr. Harper’s and Canada’s position was reaffirmed at the November 2007 Annapolis Conference.