Hamas Renews Its Annihilationist Jihad

AndrewBostom.org 19 November 2012
By Andrew Bostom

Tuesday, 11/13/12, after participating in a remarkable conference on the Benghazi debacle in Washington, DC, I was privileged to brief Representative Louie Gohmert (R, Texas), his staff, and other interested parties, highlighting salient points from my recently published book, Sharia Versus Freedom.

This briefing took place against the backdrop of ongoing rocket fire by jihad terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza, aimed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That same day (11/13/12), the (then) intermittent rocket barrages prompted Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, to address a letter of complaint to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the UN Security Council. Noting, appropriately, that Israel viewed Hamas as bearing sole responsibility for these acts of jihad terror emanating from Gaza, Ambassador Prosor wrote:

Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza have fired more than 150 rockets in recent days. Civilians and many Israeli soldiers have been wounded and damage has been caused to property. More than one million citizens live under the constant threat of terrorism. This situation must stop.

The next day, Wednesday, 11/14/12, responding to an escalating tempo of these jihadist rocket attacks,  Israel launched  "Operation Pillar of Defense,” assassinating Ahmed Al-Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing (i.e., the so-called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, named after the 1930s era murderous jihadist "martyr” prototype). A statement issued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Yoav Mordechai, noted,

By continuously smuggling weapons, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have turned Gaza into a frontline Iranian outpost …(Jabari’s) killing sends a message to Hamas elements in Gaza that if they continue to promote terror activity against the State of Israel – they will be terminated.

As per data published by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday night (11/17/12), when the fourth day of Operation Pillar of Defense concluded, 824 rockets had been fired at Israel. Almost 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel’s southern coastal region during the continuous 24-hour jihad terror campaign which followed the IDF’s targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari. Approximately  9 a.m. Thursday (11/15/12) morning, two men and a woman, Ahron Smadga, Yitzchak Amselam, and a 25 year old expectant woman, Mirah Scharf—members of the Chabad community—were killed after one of these rockets struck their apartment building in the city of Kiryat Malakhi (located 11 miles from Ashkelon, with a population of about 21,000),  in Israel’s southern district. An infant and several children were among the wounded who were taken to nearby hospitals.

In stark contrast, despite the deliberate efforts of Gazan jihadists to embed themselves amongst Gaza’s civilian population, and/or religious infrastructure (see this exquisitely targeted Israeli missile strike which destroyed an underground launcher site in the backyard of a mosque without damaging the ostensibly religious structure), callously generating additional, non-combatant "martyrs,” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, emphasized at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday (11/18/12), how Israel was doing everything it could to avoid harming Gazan civilians, whereas jihadist organizations in Gaza were doing their utmost to strike Israeli civilian targets.

Yaakov Lappin, a military and national security analyst for the Jerusalem Post, opined (Sunday, 11/18/12) that the IDF "fully expected” Hamas to concentrate its civilian assault on the less densely populated southern coastal areas bordering Gaza, because the (anti-missile defense) "Iron Dome batteries have created an aerial blanket over Israel’s cities, sparing Israel many casualties and scenes of mayhem.” Re-affirming sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Lappin maintained, however, that ongoing rocket salvos on Israel’s cities would be countered with "increasingly firm steps,” including, potentially, a "ground offensive” comprised of the Israeli infantry brigades, armored vehicles and support elements amassing on the Gazan border. But even an otherwise informed, sober analyst like Lappin also claimed,

Hamas maydecide to keep to its jihadi ideology,[emphasis added] and keep up appearances among the terror factions of Gaza, by continuing its war on Israeli civilians.

Lappin’s brief assessment of Hamas’ embrace of "jihadi ideology” as a seemingly evanescent, malleable phenomenon, reveals a common, dangerous misconception oblivious to the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad and its permanent relevance to the Arab and larger global Muslim umma’s conflict with Israel, in particular, and non-Muslim, especially Western societies, in general. Moreover, another feature of the Muslim umma’s conflict with Israel, specifically, epitomized by Hamas, yet ignored in analyses such as Lappin’s, is the centrality of Islam’s theological Jew-hatred, including the Muslim creed’s Jew-annihilationist eschatology (i.e., end of times theology).

Palestinian Media Watch’s (PMW’s) reports (here; here) on Operation Pillar of Defense, which include examples of Hamas’ Islamic doctrine as iterated by the popular, slain jihadist leader Ahmed Jabari, and even an 11/17/12 analysis by the Associated Press (AP), expose the glaring deficiencies of "regional conflict assessments” which ignore jihadism, and Islamic Jew-hatred.

Thus AP acknowledged that despite having its installations "pounded” by the IDF, Hamas (which the AP, with rare candor, correctly identified as a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate) had achieved

… diplomatic gains after years of painful isolation. Arab states in the region, particularly Egypt and Tunisia where Arab Spring uprisings swept the Brotherhood to power, are under popular pressure at home to support embattled Gazans. The Egyptian prime minister visited Friday, followed by the Tunisian foreign minister Saturday. The Arab League said it is sending a contingent of foreign ministers to Gaza in coming days.

AP’s  assessment emphasized how the "Arab Spring” Muslim Brotherhood ascendancy—which removed more secularized, Western-leaning regimes (notably in Egypt and Tunisia)—markedly changed regional diplomatic dynamics.

During the last Israel-Hamas war, a pro-Western regime deeply suspicious of Hamas was in charge in Egypt, traditionally the regional mediator between Israel and the Arab world.

Hamas deputy foreign minister Ghazi ("ghazi” = "holy warrior”) Hamad offered these apposite observations about the recent visits to the region by Muslim diplomats:

…the Arab and Islamic nations are with us…and this will give a very strong message and signal to the international community and even to Israel

Jabari, both a member of Hamas’ political bureau and leader of its military wing since 2002, until his assassination by the IDF 11/14/12, actively promoted homicide bombings and other acts of jihad terrorism against Israel. He was also Hamas’ chief negotiator during the negotiations to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, whom Hamas had captured, and incarcerated. Born during 1960 in a Gazan village, Jabari was designated "the military chief of staff of Hamas,” by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Israeli forces arrested Jabari in 1982, then a member of Fatah. Jabari spent 13 years in an Israeli prison where he changed his allegiance to Hamas. Upon release  from prison in 1995 Jabari ascended rapidly through the ranks of Hamas’s military wing—the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades—being "rewarded” for his prominent role in several terrorist attacks against Israel, such as a 1998 terror attack on a school bus that killed two Israeli children. During 2002, Jabari assumed command of Hamas’s military wing after the former commander was injured in an Israeli strike. In 2006, Jabari oversaw the capture of Israeli solider Gilad Shalit.

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