Category Archives: Gaza

WHAT HAMAS WANTS

by Herbert London

A new political document should shatter any remaining illusions.

Illusions in the Middle East die hard. However, with the publication of Hamas’ new political document, there shouldn’t be any doubt about the motives of this Muslim Brotherhood organization. The western press continues to assert that Hamas is “moderating” its views, but the document itself offers a different picture.

The main points of the new political document are:

  1. Reliance on Islam as the sole source of authority;
  2. Denial of the Jewish right to self-determination in the Land of Israel;
  3. Conferral of a sacred Islamic character on all of Palestine;
  4. An armed struggle to liberate Palestine is legitimate and must continue.

In the last year, Hamas has altered the wording in many of its public statements to seem accommodating. Presumably naiveté in the West has given it leverage at the U.N. and as a legitimate political actor on the world stage. In fact, the modification in language is an exercise in “taqiyyah” (deception in the cause of Allah). Impression, not substance, is what counts for Hamas officials.

The real goal is to gain control of the PLO, thereby securing legitimate rule over all the Palestinian territories and using that influence on international bodies. To subvert Israel’s power, Hamas deploys diplomatic and propaganda techniques. Hence it is often difficult to distinguish between lies, fabrications and exaggerated claims coming from the leadership.

With the publication of the new political document, Hamas is hoist by its own petard. There is no question it will not recognize the Jewish state. Moreover, any claim about Israel that relies on historical antecedents is deemed inaccurate. For Hamas, Israel is an historic blindspot. Fortunately, there are those in the Trump White House who understand the futility of the Hamas stance.

Should one engage in a serious investigation of Hamas, it will become obvious that the goals have remained unaltered, the purpose of the organization intact and tactics unchanged. There is a good reason to suspect that will be the case decades ahead, for if Hamas had modified its position it could not attract volunteers to its cause.

Netanyahu slammed Hamas as the metamorphosis of an ideology that emerged in 1928. He claims that it does little more than proselytize for radical ideas. Whether Netanyahu is right, is less relevant than how Hamas describes itself. Here the Netanyahu claims and the Hamas document converge. If the land of Palestine is consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day, every individual sharing the faith has an obligation – as part of his religious duty – to fight for this territory free of Jews. A good Muslim is he who loudly proclaims, “Hail to Jihad!” and struggles continuously for the achievement of liberation.

As is evident, there cannot be a negotiated settlement in the Middle East unless you are considering an Israel engaged in preemptive surrender. In the mind of Hamas, a peace treaty similar to the one negotiated between Israel and Egypt would be a form of high treason. Hamas regards itself as the spearhead in the struggle against world Zionism and will not concede an inch of this designation.

So let’s get over the pollyannish view peace can be negotiated. It will not be negotiated as long as one side at the negotiating table wants to kill those across from them. That is the reality, however difficult it is to accept.

Herbert London in President of the London Center for Policy Research.

Hamas gives 25,000 Gazans combat training

Armed Palestinian masked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, parade in their vehicle before holding a press conference, at the fishermen port in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 12, 2015. (AP)

The military wing of Hamas opened its Gaza summer camp on Saturday, aimed at providing basic combat training for 25,000 Palestinians in the embattled strip.

Hamas, the de facto power in Gaza, is currently engaged in indirect contacts with Israel to try to reach a long-term truce, but a year after last summer’s devastating 50-day war the militant movement has kept up the fighting talk.

“The goal of these military training camps is to train the vanguard for liberation — spiritually, intellectually and physically — to be ready and able to play its role in liberation,” said a statement by the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.

It said that participants, aged 15-60, would spend two weeks being “trained in military techniques and in firing live ammunition” as well as “first aid and rescue techniques.”

As with all the brigades’ activities the camps will be conducted out of public and media sight.

Rescue squads dealt with thousands of local victims during the war of July-Agust 2014, the third in Gaza in six years.

Hamas has long run summer camps devoted to sport and study of the Koran in Gaza but over the winter the al-Qassam brigades launched a new kind of camp, giving military training to 15 to 20-year-olds.

Human rights activists condemned it as a forced militarisation of Gazan society and a violation of children’s rights.

Brushing off the criticism, the brigades are repeating the excercise with the summer camp, while raising the upper age limit to 60.

Israeli kidnapped, being held captive in Gaza by Hamas Savages

Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mangitsu, 28, being held captive by Hamas (Facebook)

Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mangitsu, 28, being held captive by Hamas (Facebook)

Hamas has been holding an Ethiopian-Israeli captive since October after he sneaked into the Gaza Strip for unknown reasons, it was cleared for publication Thursday.

The man was named as Avraham Mengistu, 28, of Kiryat Gat. The gag order on his case was lifted Thursday morning following a lawsuit from Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth.

On Wednesday, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal alluding to Mengistu when speaking about Israelis held by his organization, including the bodies of two soldiers killed in last summer’s war.

According to Israeli sources cited in Hebrew media, Mengistu was last seen jumping over the border fence next to Zikim beach in southern Israel.

Israeli troops in the area who spotted him believed him to be a Palestinian returning the territory and, seeing he was unarmed, did not shoot at him.

After entering the Strip, Mengistu walked south where he met with Gazan fisherman.

It was not clear why he entered the Strip. His brother Yalo told Haaretz he left a bag on the beach containing a Bible.

Some reports after his capture indicated he may have suffered from a mental illness.

Negotiations have been ongoing in secret to secure his release. It was unclear why the gag order was initially put in place, or why it was lifted Thursday.

Despite its proximity to Gaza, Zikim is a public beach open to all swimmers. It was the scene of an attempted Hamas infiltration during last summer’s conflict, in which four frogmen attacked a military base from the beach.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Wednesday alluded that his organization was holding at least one live Israeli captive, in addition to the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed during last summer’s 50-day war.

Israeli officials have confirmed that the group holds the remains of deceased IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and have been negotiating for their release, along with Mengistu.

Speaking with the Arabic language al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper, Mashaal claimed Israel had requested of European officials to mediate in negotiations with Hamas over the release of the captured individuals.

In October last year, Mohammed Nazzal, a senior figure in Hamas’s political wing, stressed that his group would demand that Israel “pay a price” for every bit of information regarding the whereabouts of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul’s remains. Nazzal did not indicate what the group would demand in exchange for such information.

IDF soldiers Oron Shaul (left) and Hadar Goldin (right) (Flash90)

Goldin and Shaul were killed in separate incidents during fighting in Gaza during the summer’s 50-day military campaign. They were both declared dead based on evidence the army acquired, but their bodies were never recovered by Israel.

Adiv Sterman contributed to this report

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace

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