Hamas will not rest until Israel is kicked out of ‘Palestine.’ This statement, not spoken in those particular words, came from Ahmed al-Jabiri, leader of the Izz a-din al-Qassam Brigades last weekend. He gave Israel two options, leave or die.
The Gaza Strip is a narrow 25 miles (40 k’s) stretch of land on the Mediterranean Sea. It was captured by Israel from Egypt in the 1967 war. Today it is one of the most densely populated areas on earth. Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and no Jews live there (of their own free will) today.
Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida joined the threats. He warned that Israel was ‘playing with fire’ by retaliating to recent rocket fire from Gaza. 30 rockets fell in southern Israel where a 15year-old girl was slightly hurt. (Another Miracle!)
Israel responded by bombing a Gaza terror training facility. They also hit a weapons smuggling tunnel.
Hamas and their terrorist contemporaries, presumed these attacks signaled that Israel may be gearing up for a more concentrated campaign, hence the chest-thumping rhetoric. Observers say there is no indication of an immediate Israeli intensified campaign.
The name Hamas is an acronym of an Arabic phrase meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement.” They claim to be devoted to the path of Allah.
The Hamas Charter (or Covenant) was issued in 1988 and proclaims Hamas’ members will ‘fear God and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors.’
It calls for the creation of an Islamic state in ‘Palestine’ and says ‘our struggle against the Jews is very great and serious.’
One clause explains that Hamas is tolerant of other religions as long as they do not impede their declared goals.
Hamas approved a 540 million dollar government budget for 2010. 90% of their funds come through ‘undisclosed’ foreign aid.
Recent evidence has indicated that Hamas carries out substantial fundraising and organizational work in the United States.
On December 28, 2002, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was quoted in Al-Ayyam saying, “The jihad and suicide bombings will continue – the Zionist entity will reach its end in the first quarter of the current century. It is therefore up to you [Muslim holy fighters] to be patient – the Hamas takes upon itself the liberation of all Palestinian land from the sea to the river in the Rafah [in the south] and until Rosh Hanikra [in the north].”
At a conference last week Abu Obeida told the media: “We are now stronger than before and during the war, and our silence over the past two years was only for evaluating the situation.”
His words describe the Arabic word ‘hudna,’ which is translated ‘cease-fire.’ It is called so that time is given to regroup and strengthen offensive military power.
The term comes from the story of the Muslim conquest of Mecca. Instead of a rapid victory, Muhammad made a ten-year treaty with the Kuraysh tribe. In 628 AD, after only two years of the ten-year treaty, Muhammad and his forces concluded that the Kuraysh were too weak to resist. The Muslims broke the treaty and took over all of Mecca without opposition.
Abu Obeida said the news conference last week was being held to mark the second anniversary of the Gaza war, and the 23rd anniversary of the founding of Hamas.
In a newsletter the leader of the Hamas’ armed wing Mohammed Deif threatened Israel in Ahmadinejad-like flare. “You are going to disappear,” he wrote. “Mo matter how long it takes, we will not raise the white flag to you as long as there is one Muslim on this planet.”
Deif lives in hiding and has been severely wounded twice in Israeli attacks.
Watchdog groups have exposed how funding to ease citizen discomfort finds its way into Hamas’ coffers.
Last November, $140 million was designated for reconstruction after operation ‘Cast Lead’. Inquiries revealed it was not used for that purpose.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) called on the international community to provide another $527,000,000 for what can only be considered as the ‘hypothetical’ Gaza reconstruction.
How much of this support ends up refueling the rearmement of Hamas? Last year the EU made the release of kidnapped Israel Gilad Shalit a condition for their financial aid, an agreement that has never been enforced.
Does the aid provided by the international community help the people of Gaza or is it making their lives more miserable?
Lat November Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a senior Hamas leader wrote that the Jews ‘have no future between nations.’ The Bible says otherwise.
Israel has a future and a hope, which is declared many times as a covenant promise from above. Hamas has its covenant and so does Israel.
“I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:7)
“‘But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD.’” (Lev. 26:45)