Ryan Jones US Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has come under a lot of fire for saying that the "Palestinians" are an invented people. Most have ridiculed Gingrich by pointing out there are clearly millions of Arabs living in so-called "Palestine."
But Gingrich wasn't talking about the physical presence of those people today, but rather the national identity they have adopted and the fact that most immigrated to the land not so long ago.
In a televised address on Al-Hekma TV last week, Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad basically backed up Gingrich's assessment, acknowledging that the roots of most "Palestinians" are elsewhere in the Middle East, and that the Palestinian label is only a thin veneer. Those pushing for a Palestinian state try to paint the Palestinian Arabs as somehow distinct from the Arabs round-about, and therefore in need of their own state. Not so, said Hammad. "Every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots - whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties."
More than that, Hammad stated that the true regional background of most "Palestinians" is not in "Palestine."
"Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis," exclaimed the Hamas minister.
Hammad's remarks were undoubtedly never intended for a Western audience. Rather, he was pleading with Egypt and other neighboring states to supply Hamas-ruled Gaza with free fuel, which Hammad said Hamas would use "in order to continue to wage Jihad."