Archive for the ‘Hamas’ category

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government

January 19, 2017

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government, Clarion Project, Elliot Friedland, January 19, 2017

(Similar claims could be made legitimately about Fatah and Islamic Jihad. — DM)

hamasrallyHamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Fatah and Hamas, which control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, concluded an agreement to form a national unity government. The Palestinian Authority, which is the official body that rules the Palestinian-controlled areas, as per the Oslo Accords, will now begin the process of forming a new national council. The P.A. president is Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas and Fatah also announced they will hold elections that will include members of the Palestinian diaspora. Elections were last held in 2007.

“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad told media.

Here are ten reasons why Hamas is not fit to be part of any government.
Hamas Is A Designated Terrorist Organization

Hamas is a terrorist group and is designated as such by Israel (obviously) but also the United States, the EU, Canada and Japan so this one should come as no surprise.

Hamas Deliberately Targets Civilians

Most recently Hamas praised the string of violent attacks that hit Israel over the past year and half.

In the last Gaza war, Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. “Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible” Israeli left-wing human rights organization B’Tselem said about the last Gaza war.

They Use Civilians As Human Shields

According to the Geneva Conventions, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”

Hamas does precisely this. In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas ordered civilians to remain in their homes if they were about to be bombed. All the more gallingly, Hamas deliberately manipulates the inevitable civilian casualties that result, using the blood of Palestinians to purchase international sympathy.

Hamas Steals Palestinian Aid For Military Purposes

Hamas receives a lot of aid from around the world for the Gaza strip, which is frequently the subject of international aid campaigns. Yet Hamas steals much of this aid for its own purposes. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold. “A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes.”

Hamas uses the cement to construct multi-million dollar tunnels via which it hopes to carry out cross-border raids into Israel to murder Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.

In August 2016, Israel leveled charges against Mohammed el Halabi the head of World Vision in Gaza for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian purposes to Hamas for its terrorist activities.

Hamas Steals Money From Palestinians to Enrich Their Leaders

Hamas controls the lucrative smuggling tunnels that bring goods into Gaza from Egypt. They tax incoming products for revenue. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that,” Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College who served in a variety of senior military positions told Globes. “The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits.”

Hamas also receives donations, both from wealthy Muslims in America and internationally, but also from state sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

This money has been appropriated by the Hamas leadership who enriched themselves at the expense of Palestinians. The inner circle of Hamas are millionaires.

Hamas Executes Dissenters and Stifles Critique

Hamas routinely carries out extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture of dissidents within the territory it controls. This includes supporters of rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah (with whom Hamas will now be forming a unity government) as well as those accused of collaborating with Israel.

Hamas is not believed to conduct fair trials.

In 2014 during the last Gaza war, Hamas carried out a campaign of targeted killings and abductions detailed in the Amnesty International Report entitled “‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture And Summary Killings Of Palestinians By Hamas Forces During The 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict.”

“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International, then Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”

Nor did this stop after the war. “Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” Human Rights Watch said as recently as August 2016.

Hamas Wants a Theocratic State and Murders LGBT People

Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is pledged to establish an Islamic State as a final goal. It terms itself “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and article one of its founding charter reads “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”

Although Hamas is continually on a war-footing and has therefore been less focused on establishing a sharia-based system of governance than other Islamist groups, it still takes the time to implement sharia governance where it can.

In this vein Hamas has imprisoned women for sex outside marriage.

Hamas Persecutes the LGBT Community

In January 2016, Hamas executed one of its senior commanders after allegations of gay sex emerged. John Calvin (not his real name) is from one of Hamas’ most important families and fought for and gained asylum in the United States because if he returned to Nablus he would be murdered.

These are rarely mentioned by those in the “Queers for Palestine” movement.

Israel Withdrew From Gaza And Hamas Turned it Into A Terrorist State

In 2005 Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2007 Hamas took over and turned the enclave into their own personal fiefdom.

Governmental errors in the Israeli withdrawal notwithstanding , Hamas demonstrated its lack of commitment to its own people and to the path of peace by choosing rejectionism and violence instead.

Hamas Perpetrates Child Abuse

Hamas trains young children in its military training camps to indoctrinate them with the group’s Islamist and jihadist ideology and train them for hatred and warfare.

This is backed up by Hamas media outlets which produce children’s programs that inculcate the next generation with the Hamas ideology.

Palestinian Factions Reaffirm Agreement on Need to Form National Unity Government

January 18, 2017

Palestinian Factions Reaffirm Agreement on Need to Form National Unity Government, Jerusalem PostAdam Rasgon, January 18, 2017

(According to an unsourced article at the Latin American Herald Tribune,

MOSCOW – Palestinian factions, including the nationalist movement Fatah and the Islamist Hamas, agreed on Tuesday to give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas 48 hours to form a government of national unity.

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the delegation of Fatah, said at a press conference that factions agreed in Moscow to grant Abbas a period of 48 hours to start consultations to form the national unity government that precedes the formation of the Palestinian National Council.

The Fatah representative, who participated in the reconciliation talks in Moscow between the different Palestinian parties, stressed that in the last ten years of confrontation between Fatah and Hamas there have never been better conditions than now.

This may suggest that the possibility of a unity government is more substantial than suggested by the Jerusalem Post article. — DM)

palunitygovtMustafa Barghouti.. (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons)

The Palestinian factions have reached numerous reconciliation agreements previously that ultimately have gone unimplemented. In May 2014, the factions agreed to form a national unity government and hold elections by December 2015. While a government of technocrats and independents was formed with limited autonomy over resources in the Gaza Strip, elections never took place.

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Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions on Tuesday in Moscow reaffirmed an agreement they reached in Beirut a week ago, which said that they should form a new Palestinian National Council and a unity government, a top PLO official said.

“The agreement in Moscow is a confirmation of what we agreed on in Beirut,” Mustafa Barghouti, a PLO Executive Committee member, told The Jerusalem Post, upon the conclusion of a series of reconciliation talks in Moscow.

All the Palestinian factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad participated in a meeting last week in Beirut to begin discussions on the possibility of convening the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s parliament.

The Beirut meeting concluded with a statement, expressing “the necessity of holding a meeting of the Palestinian National Council which includes all Palestinian factions” and “the necessity of implementing reconciliation agreements and understandings beginning with the formation of a national unity government,” without setting specific timeframes for such measures to come to fruition.

Barghouti, who is also the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said there was only one difference in the conclusions of the meeting in Moscow compared to that of Beirut.

“There was one addition to the Beirut meeting, which is that there will be a recourse to the president to act as fast as possible to initiate discussions regarding the formation of a national unity government,” Barghouti stated, adding that, “The idea of the government would be to start bridging the division between Gaza and the West Bank and prepare for national elections in six months.”

A national unity government would include ministers from the different Palestinian factions with representation in the Palestinian Legislative Council, the PA’s parliament, including Hamas and Fatah.

The Palestinian factions have reached numerous reconciliation agreements previously that ultimately have gone unimplemented. In May 2014, the factions agreed to form a national unity government and hold elections by December 2015. While a government of technocrats and independents was formed with limited autonomy over resources in the Gaza Strip, elections never took place.

Hamas headquarters uncovered north of Jerusalem

January 16, 2017

Hamas headquarters uncovered north of Jerusalem, Israel National News,Uzi Baruch, January 16, 2017

hamasguysIllustration Flash90

Thirteen Hamas terrorists, including a member of the Palestinian Authority’s Legislative Council, were arrested overnight in a joint operation by the IDF and Shin Bet internal security agency.

The operation comes on the heels of the discovery of a regional headquarters of the Hamas terror group in the Ramallah district, north of Jerusalem.

The base is believed to have served as the center of operations for dozens of Hamas terrorists in Samaria, and may be part of a broader effort by Hamas to expand its influence in the Ramallah area. Payments to jailed terrorists and their families, outreach efforts to local Palestinian Authority residents, public demonstrations, and the operation of a Hamas student group were all managed from the headquarters.

During the raid of the facility overnight, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet agents confiscated cash, vehicles, and propaganda material used by Hamas for recruitment purposes.

“The discovery of this [terror] infrastructure reveals Hamas’ continuing strategic intentions to operate and establish bases in the area, as part of an effort to weaken the [Palestinian] Authority; all while attempting to commit serious acts of terror,” a Shin Bet spokesperson said.

“The Shin Bet security agency and the IDF will continue to operate with determination to disrupt these [terror] infrastructures in advance [of possible attacks].”

Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption

January 13, 2017

Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption, al-Monitor

"PalestinianPalestinian journalists take part in a protest in front of the Reuters office, Gaza City, Gaza, Apr. 22, 2008. (photo by REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah)

Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely following the unfolding case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly receiving favors or gifts. Their interest is not prompted only by glee at the possible downfall of the Israeli leader they despise, but also by appreciation and envy of Israeli democracy and press freedom that enable the questioning of the prime minister under caution and the investigative reporting against him by the media.

No journalists in Gaza — no matter how senior — would even think of criticizing the leaders of Hamas, and in the Palestinian Authority (PA), criticism of any kind against President Mahmoud Abbas, or exposure of corruption in the PA, could result in the journalist’s arrest.

“We all known there’s terrible corruption in the PA,” a senior veteran journalist from Ramallah, the seat of the PA in the West Bank, told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We know hundreds of stories about senior PA officials and about Abbas’ sons, but we can’t publish them or even talk openly about them.”

According to various reports, the PA has for years been plagued by corruption. The governmental structure put in place by the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat did not include control and supervision mechanisms. Every Palestinian in the West Bank and Gaza knows full well that those closest to the seat of power often enjoy a lifestyle incompatible with the salary of a PA official.

“We saw PLO activists who arrived [in the West Bank and Gaza] from Libya and Tunisia [in the 1990s] with only the clothes on their backs, and a few months after the PA was established they were already driving around in Mercedes cars, wearing Italian suits and building ostentatious villas,” the journalist claimed. “To this day they are all rich, taken care of and no one can say a word or even ask where such wealth came from.”

European Union states that donate hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the PA have tried to establish supervisory mechanisms over the funds they provide, but according to Palestinian journalists who spoke with Al-Monitor, the top PA levels were more devious than all the oversight mechanisms, and they found loopholes through which to funnel some of the money into their own pockets.

The criticism discussed behind closed doors does not relate only to past malfeasance. A senior journalist who works for an Arabic language media outlet notes in a conversation with Al-Monitor that the sons of the Palestinian president are also mentioned among those making a fortune out of their family connection to Abbas.

Tareq Abbas, for example, is the director of a company that in the past employed Mohammed Rashid, a close confidant of Arafat and his moneyman, who was subsequently convicted by a Ramallah court of stealing millions of dollars from a Palestinian investment fund and from the PLO coffers, and transferring the money to bank accounts in various places around the world. Since the “cleaning of the stables” after Arafat’s death in 2004, Abbas’s son Tareq has been serving as a director in the Palestinian investment fund that manages hundreds of millions of dollars, so that his father has almost complete control over the fund without anyone in the PA being allowed to express opposition or question its management. In 2012, Foreign Policy ran a story about the fortunes of Abbas’ sons in which the investigative reporters wondered whether there was any connection between the wealth they were accumulating and their family connection.

“We know the answer,” a Palestinian journalist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “Everyone knows that Tareq and Yasser Abbas immediately win every bid they put in, whether directly or through straw men.”

The journalist said that reporters have learned not to ask “unnecessary” questions, lest they lose their jobs, at best, or are sent to jail in a worst-case scenario. The media learned the limits of what was permissible and what was not in the affair of Mahmad Hadifa, an independent journalist who published a series of investigative reports about the goings on in the Palestinian Ministry of Economy in Ramallah. Hadifa was arrested by Palestinian security forces after the stories ran and was threatened, even though no one claimed his reports were false. On the contrary, he touched on issues troubling Palestinians in the West Bank and exposed irregularities in the most important economic office in the PA.

“Sometimes you can see criticism against Abbas’ sons or senior PA officials on social media,” another journalist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “But never in a way that might disclose the identity of the writer. Usually the critics are cautious and they ask rhetorical questions, but everyone knows what they mean.”

Only few such investigative reports were published — for instance investigative stories about corruption in the PA were published by Reuters and The Associated Press. The Palestinian researchers and reporters who helped to compile these stories were not named. In 2009, Reuters reported that firms run by Abbas’ sons won US government aid contracts to repair roads in the Palestinian territories, and AP published leaked documents in 2015 allegedly exposing corruption by senior PA officials.

None of the people mentioned in the reporting were questioned or lost their jobs; coverage of the reported affairs in the Palestinian media was limited on orders from high up.

Many Palestinians who have been exposed to Israeli reporting about the investigations into Netanyahu’s alleged wrongdoing — which play prominently in the Palestinian media — are asking whether receiving gifts such as cigars and champagne constitute sufficient cause for his indictment, conviction and resignation. Some of the journalists with whom I spoke claim that receiving gifts is standard practice in the PA and is not considered a criminal offense.

“If we were able to talk about each and every present, and this were to result in an investigation and conviction,” said a senior journalist in the PA on condition of anonymity, “we wouldn’t have a functioning Palestinian Authority because everyone would already be in jail.”

 

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support

January 12, 2017

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support, Investigative Project on Terrorism, January 12, 2017

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As President Obama’s tenure reaches its final days, Islamists in the United States are waging a furious lobbying campaign aimed at securing the freedom of five men convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.

An open campaign urges the president to pardon five former officials from the defunct, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), casting them as victims of “anti-Muslim hysteria” triggered by the 9/11 attacks. In 2008, a jury convicted the five – Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader – of using a network of Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas to funneling money to the terrorist group.

It is not clear whether the requests to pardon the five, or to commute their sentences and release them from prison, is being considered seriously. Obama’s pardons thus far involved somewhat less serious crimes including fraud, embezzlement and non-violent drug offenses.

But advocates are pushing social media campaigns and online petitions aimed at securing a pardon, or, short of that, a commutation of the five men’s sentences to set them free. The campaign also has enlisted support from at least one member of Congress.

Left unspoken is an undeniable truth behind the pardon/commutation campaign, and behind any ongoing defense of the Holy Land Foundation: Advocates do not believe Hamas support is wrong.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is leading the charge, supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and pro-Palestinian groups.

CAIR’s appeal provided a White House switchboard number for supporters to call and request commutations. Some sites even include contact information for key members of Congress, urging supporters to emphasize the “cruelly disproportionate” length of sentences – from a low of 15 years for El-Mezain, to 65-year terms for Baker and Elashi.

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CAIR’s Arizona director Imraan Siddiqui described the prosecution as “a political lynching of charity workers … Its effects still haunt American Muslims.”

After reviewing the entire record in 2011, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw it quite differently.

Pleas from the MLFA and Siddiqi ignore the exhibits – many of them internal HLF and related documents – showing the family ties between some defendants and Hamas leaders, a reliance on Hamas officials to speak at HLF fundraisers along with other, consistent pro-Hamas messages.

In addition, records show, HLF (formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund) was part of a network called the “Palestine Committee” in the United States. That committee answered to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s mandate that global chapters create “Palestine Committees” in their home countries. Their task was “to support Hamas from abroad,” the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the convictions and sentences. In the United States, that task fell in part to Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who helped create HLF and two other branches – a propaganda wing known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a think-tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR).

CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee after its 1994 founding.

“The evidence showed that the long-standing connection between HLF and Hamas began in the late 1980s when HLF arose as a fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee …” the appeals court ruling said. “This fact was notably evident from the … [internal Palestine Committee] documents, which showed that HLF was created along with the IAP.” In addition, Palestine Committee bylaws “specifically recognized HLF as ‘the official organization for fundraising.'”

HLF apologists claim the group was merely interested in helping needy widows and orphans. But, the court pointed out, the orphans included Yehia Ayyash’s children. Ayyash was Hamas’s top bomb maker, nicknamed “The Engineer,” before being killed by Israel.

“An audio tape from 1996 that was seized from HLF’s offices contained songs praising Hamas and discussions of suicide bombers as heroes,” the ruling said.

“We believe that a jury could not help but infer from the above evidence that the defendants had a close association with Hamas and that HLF acted to fund Hamas both before and after Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

Still, CAIR’s Texas chapter called the five convicted HLF officials “humanitarians,” and described their imprisonment as “an immense wrong.” It cited defense attorney Nancy Hollander’s claim that there was no evidence showing her client, HLF executive director Shukri Abu Baker, breaking the law. “Not a word from his lips that he hated Jews. Not a word from his lips that he supported Hamas. These were fictions,” Hollander said.

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That cannot be said for Mufid Abdulqader, who performed and acted in a singing troupe that helped raise money for HLF at IAP events. In this video, admitted into evidence during the 2008 trial, he is shown wearing camouflage and a kaffiyeh as he sings, “I am Hamas, O dear ones … I swear to wipe out the name of the Zionist. And protect my land, Palestine.” Then, he pretends to strangle an actor portraying an Israeli.

Hollander failed to mention that Baker ran HLF and was responsible for who spoke and what was said at its fundraisers. Those events routinely featured Hamas leaders and activists. She also neglected to mention her client’s participation in a secret 1993 Philadelphia gathering of Hamas members and supporters who schemed about how to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo peace accord without coming off looking like terror supporters.

It was Baker who set a key ground rule for the talks, which were secretly recorded and translated by the FBI: No one should mention Hamas by name, he instructed. Instead, call it “Sister Samah,” which is Hamas spelled backward.

The gathering, Baker said, was “a joint workshop between the Holy Land Foundation and the IAP.” Participants should not mention Hamas by name.

Hollander then compared the HLF case – brought against a handful of men with documented and recorded connections to Hamas – to the mass internment of 117,000 Japanese American men, women and children during World War II.

The current campaign would settle for a sentencing commutation, essentially freeing the men on time served. The sentences, from 15 to 65 years in prison, were overly harsh, advocates say.

But the Fifth Circuit had considered this, too, rejecting defense department arguments. Its ruling noted that the probation office’s presentence recommendations included significant terrorism enhancements because HLF gave money to Hamas “in order to rid Palestine of the Jewish people through violent jihad, HAMAS’ mission.”

It added that “the trial was replete with evidence to satisfy application of the terrorism enhancement because of the defendants’ intent to support Hamas. The Hamas charter clearly delineated the goal of meeting the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with violent jihad and the rejection of peace efforts and compromise solutions. The defendants knew that they were supporting Hamas, as there was voluminous evidence showing their close ties to the Hamas movement.”

Those claiming the HLF defendants suffered an injustice, or that they somehow deserve relief, lie about this record or pretend it does not exist. To acknowledge reality is to shatter their own argument, or to come clean about their true feelings about Hamas terrorism. They know that’s a losing hand. It’s something Shukri Abu Baker talked about in that 1993 Philadelphia meeting.

They need to mislead people if they are going to be successful, Baker said.

“War is deception,” he said. “Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way … Deceive your enemy.”

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack

January 11, 2017

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Yaakov Lappin, January 11, 2017

hamascelebratesImage from IDF Spokesperson

Hamas is engaged in unceasing efforts to set up and launch terror cells in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from where they try to evade Israeli intelligence, infiltrate and commit mass casualty attacks in Israeli cities. Hamas also is a main source of inciting lone Palestinian attackers.

Yet it is also in a state of conflict with Gaza-based ISIS entities, which sporadically fire rockets into Israel hoping to provoke retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets. In essence, ISIS-affiliated groups try to use the Israel Air Force to punish Hamas.

ISIS views Hamas as an infidel movement due to its willingness to blend jihadist doctrines with Palestinian nationalism. Nationalism has no place in ISIS’s vision of a pan-Islamic caliphate, free of so-called artificial national divides among Muslims.

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Hamas launched a public relations campaign in recent days, aimed at capitalizing on a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem Sunday that killed four Israeli soldiers. The campaign sheds a light on Hamas’s plans to encourage and launch jihadist atrocities, but also on its vulnerability to the arrival of ISIS as an ideology and movement.

The truck attacker was Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qanbar, a father of four from east Jerusalem. He acted alone when he plowed into a cluster of soldiers gathered, according to Israeli assessments, under the influence of jihadist propaganda disseminated by ISIS.

That fact has not stopped Hamas from making multiple efforts to claim the attack as its own, celebrating it, and pushing Palestinians to emulate it. The Gazan regime’s goal of setting the West Bank alight is well served by such incidents.

Yet Hamas’s efforts to cash in on the truck ramming also strengthen its domestic challengers in Gaza – ISIS-affiliated Salafi-jihadist groups which have been just as quick to claim Qanbar as one of their own, and probably with better cause.

These same groups wasted little time in using the opportunity to launch stinging attacks on the Hamas regime, whose security forces arrest their members and repress their activities.

For example, an ISIS-affiliated group in Gaza proudly noted that Israel attributed the attack to one who “belongs to the Islamic Caliphate State,” and stated: “Praise Allah, who provided the oppressed people of Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] with trucks they can use to run over the settler herds – [and this] instead of the haram [forbidden] organizations [the main Palestinian organizations].”

A grim jihadist competition is underway, over who can use the Jerusalem attack to boost its political power. Immediately after Qanbar’s attack, Hamas claimed he was an operative of its military wing, the Izz Al-Din Qassam Brigades.

Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, told a rally in Gaza to celebrate the murders that same night: “the [Israeli] soldiers fled from the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operative who carried out the attack for the sake of the Palestinians, the Arab nation and the Muslims.”

Other Hamas officials issued similar statements, praising Qanbar, and calling for his actions to reinvigorate the ‘intifada for Jerusalem.’

As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noted, Hamas’s official Twitter account chimed in: “We welcome the bold and heroic truck operation in Jerusalem which was a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation.”

To be sure, Hamas is engaged in unceasing efforts to set up and launch terror cells in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from where they try to evade Israeli intelligence, infiltrate and commit mass casualty attacks in Israeli cities. Hamas also is a main source of inciting lone Palestinian attackers.

Yet it is also in a state of conflict with Gaza-based ISIS entities, which sporadically fire rockets into Israel hoping to provoke retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets. In essence, ISIS-affiliated groups try to use the Israel Air Force to punish Hamas.

ISIS views Hamas as an infidel movement due to its willingness to blend jihadist doctrines with Palestinian nationalism. Nationalism has no place in ISIS’s vision of a pan-Islamic caliphate, free of so-called artificial national divides among Muslims.

Meanwhile, tensions increased as relations between Hamas and the ISIS affiliate Wilyat Al-Sinai (Sinai Province), which once saw a good degree of cooperation, soured. This relationship enabled Hamas to continue smuggling arms into Gaza via tunnels, and to make Gazan hospitals available to wounded ISIS fighters and commanders. Egypt has long suspected Gaza’s Islamist rulers of being a steady source of weapons and volunteers for ISIS.

Now, the ISIS-affiliated movement in and around Gaza is openly challenging Hamas’s legitimacy. Ironically, Hamas does the same thing to the ruling Fatah movement in the West Bank, which it seeks to topple by provoking a large-scale Israeli military counter-terrorism operation, according to assessments by Israeli security sources.

This deadly jihadist “game of thrones” looks set to continue and could act as a destabilizing factor and a catalyst for further attacks.

The Israeli defense establishment sees the truck ramming as the work of a lone attacker – the hardest type to detect and thwart preemptively.

While the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency is making progress using big data analytics to scan social media accounts and pick out potential lone terrorists, much work remains to be done in this challenging field.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to this during remarks he made on the scene of the Jerusalem ramming, “I think the most important thing to understand is that we are under a new type of attack, by a lone terrorist, who becomes inspired and decides to spontaneously act.”

To counter ramming attacks, Israel has installed concrete barricades around bus stops in Jerusalem and the West Bank, he added. Additionally, Israeli security forces spent the past year intensively developing a “preventative intelligence infrastructure,” Netanyahu said, in reference to data analytics.

As the race continues to improve these techniques, Israel will need to continue to rely on the rapid responses of armed security forces and civilians who typically arrive at the scene of such incidents within seconds and open fire on terrorists.

Whether it is organized large-scale cells or lone murderers, the threat of indiscriminate jihadist violence looks set to remain with Israelis for years to come – though as the past two years have shown, Western cities are also increasingly prone to such threats.

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers

January 10, 2017

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, January 10, 2017

For anyone who treasures freedom – including many Arabs and Muslims who do not want to live under terrorist Islamic dictatorships but are strong-armed from speaking out – the United Nations is now poisonous place. It has been taken over by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — 56 Islamic countries plus Palestine. It is now the seat of the universal caliphate. In this, it is assisted by dictators, despots and the many dhimmi-European leaders who together command a permanent voting majority and have been lately been busy rewriting historical facts. Nothing good can come from it. Freedom-loving countries should run.

The murderous legacy and personality of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings, are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

“The mosque that produced the mujahed [warrior] Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.” – Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel.

The voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter are being marginalized by the European leaders doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab elite who fund these imams and these mosques.

These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next.

Palestinian youths are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. Ayyash’s expertise in manufacturing explosive devices earned him the nickname “The Engineer” and turned him into a hero in the eyes of many Palestinians. The bomb-maker was killed by Israeli security forces on January 5, 1996, thereby ending one of the bloodiest chapters of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Two decades later, this arch-terrorist is still being revered as a hero and martyr. His murderous legacy and personality are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

A few years ago, the PA decided to honor Ayyash by naming a street in Ramallah after him. The street sign was posted in Ramallah, the headquarters of the PA where Abbas lives and works, and reads:

“Yahya Ayyash, 1966-1996, born in Nablus, studied electrical engineering in Bir Zeit University. Was a member of the (Hamas military wing) Iz ad-Din al-Qassam, and was linked by Israel to a number of bombings. He was assassinated by Israel in his Beit Lahia (Gaza Strip) home on January 5, 1996.”

This week, Palestinians took to social media to glorify the arch-terrorist further, depicting him as a role model and urging youths to follow in his footsteps.

On Twitter, for instance, they launched a hashtag entitled, “Be Like Ayyash.” The campaign encourages Palestinian youths to admire the bomb-maker and endorse his “jihad” (holy war) against Israel. Activists posted video clips, songs, poems and portraits praising and lionizing Ayyash and his terrorism. The campaign, according to the sponsors, is also designed to acquaint Palestinians with the “humane and leadership qualities” of Ayyash and remind them of his “heroic actions.”

Unsurprisingly, the social media campaign has attracted the attention of thousands of Palestinians and Arabs, who heaped praise on the Hamas bomb-maker-turned-icon. Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

This Palestinian “engineer” is not being glorified because he used his expertise to help improve the lives of Palestinians. He is being lauded because he used the education he received to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to kill Israelis.

One activist hailed Ayyash as “The Master of Men and the Moon of Palestine.” He added: “We are proud of you, Hawk of Iz ad-Din al-Qassam!”

Another activist posted: “Oh history take note – the engineer of Palestine used to divert the path of Zionist buses towards hell!” (a reference to the suicide bombings that targeted Israeli buses).

Here is what another Palestinian had to say about the mass-murderer: “Yahya Ayyash is an idea, and ideas do not die. Although the resistance in the Gaza Strip has developed its weapons, the bombing of a bus has a special flavor!”

2200An image recently posted to Twitter glorifying Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. The image shows Ayyash’s face superimposed over an Israeli bus that was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber in the 1990’s.

Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, joined the chorus of terror glorifiers by offering his own post commemorating the anniversary of the death of Ayyash. “Yahya Ayyash did not die,” wrote the leading Islamic scholar, considered the spiritual father of Muslim Brotherhood. “He is alive in the conscience of all Palestine. The mosque that produced the mujahed (warrior) Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.”

Sheikh al-Qaradawi is right in two important ways. The first of these is that Ayyash was indeed “produced” by a mosque. Those close to Ayyash describe him as a devout Muslim who used to spend much of his time in mosques, where he was undoubtedly exposed to anti-Semitic hate-speech and indoctrination at the hands of preachers and imams.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Al-Qaradawi is also right when he says that the mosques are continuing to produce “heroes.” This is true because incitement and anti-Semitism remains a main theme of the Friday prayer sermons. Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

“Ayyash was only 29 years old, but he became a legend that instilled fear in the hearts of the Zionists,” remarked another social media activist. “He was transformed into an exemplary engineer inspiring new generations.”

Hamas leaders, for their part, chose to celebrate the anniversary of the death of their terrorist by voicing hope that Palestinian youths would look at him as their role model and follow in his footsteps. “The students of Yahya Ayyash are the hope of the Palestinians,” said Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran. He said that Ayyash continues to serve as an inspiration for youths who wish to join the jihad against Israel.

That Ayyash was a Hamas member has not prevented the rival Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas from joining the campaign of glorification.

True, Hamas and Fatah are rivals and they despise each other. But when it comes to murdering Israelis, they wholeheartedly agree. In truth, Fatah would have preferred if Ayyash had been one of its own. Had that been so Fatah would have been able to boast (instead of Hamas) of the “heroic” attacks engineered by the beloved terrorist.

Still, in the eyes of Fatah, this Hamas arch-terrorist is a hero because he killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. On one of its Facebook pages, Fatah had these words to say about Ayyash: “The revolutionaries never die; Fatah pledges to remain committed to the martyrs and the path of Yasser Arafat.”

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel. This Fatah stance should not come as a surprise to those who have been following its leaders’ and activists’ statements and actions. The glorification of terrorists has always been an integral part of Fatah ideology. Most recently, Fatah celebrated its 52nd anniversary in a series of Facebook posts glorifying Palestinian terrorists.

Some would argue that the absence of education for peace with Israel on the Palestinian side is largely responsible for the failure of the peace process. However, this assessment falls short of the full truth. That truth is that the same Palestinian children who are not educated toward peace with Israel are educated toward killing Israeli civilians, as many as possible. The continued glorification of terrorists and the encouragement of youths to join the jihad against Israel and Jews, as well as the celebrations marking the death of Ayyash, demonstrate this truth. Where, the international community might ask, are the voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter?

Their voices are being marginalized by many European leaders comfortably doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab and Muslim elite who fund those imams and mosques. These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next, and that what they have been seeing is just the start. That is how the Muslims in a few hundred years took over Persia, Turkey, southern Spain, all of North Africa, and most of Eastern Europe.

For anyone who treasures freedom – including many Arabs and Muslims who do not want to live under terrorist Islamic dictatorships but are strong-armed from speaking out – the United Nations is now poisonous place. It has been taken over by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — 56 Islamic countries plus Palestine. It is now the seat of the universal caliphate. In this, it is assisted by dictators, despots and the many dhimmi-European leaders who together command a permanent voting majority and have been lately been busy rewriting historical facts. Nothing good can come from it. Freedom-loving countries should run.