International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

What Does Hamas Really Want?

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

As the dust settles in Gaza and Israel after a relatively long war, Yaakov Lappin, a journalist at the Jerusalem Post, writes that the current truce forms a good opportunity to examine the reason Hamas began their conflict this summer in the first place:

Hamas’s bloody clashes have a dual purpose: First, they act as a fuel that Hamas pours on the national consciousness of Palestinians, to keep hatred burning, and ensure that Palestinians continue to see themselves as being at war with Israel, while viewing Hamas as the soldiers of that war, and thus their saviors.Second, such wars marginalize Hamas’s rivals in Ramallah, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority [PA], which Hamas often attempts to depict as an Israeli “collaborator.”

Keeping the armed conflict alive — whatever the cost to Gazans — is the central tenet of Hamas’s survival strategy.

Above all else, Hamas wishes to ensure that the torch of jihad keeps burning, to pass it on to the next Palestinian generation. Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas’s popularity secure, like frequent wars.

Long, open-ended truces, Hamas may fear, could lead to a hibernation of the conflict, which in turn could lead to a long-term political settlement with Israel.

In Hamas’s lexicon, truces and ceasefires are synonymous with rearming and regrouping, and preparing the next attack on Israel.


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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:17 AM  | Stand for Israel

Fatah Accuses Hamas of Stealing Millions in Gaza Aid

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas stole the lives of Israelis, as well as the Gazan people it forced into acting as human shields. Now Algemeiner’s Dave Bender reports that Fatah, the terrorist organization’s erstwhile partner in the Palestinian unity government, is accusing Hamas of also stealing hundreds of millions in aid money during the war:

A Palestinian Authority (PA) official claimed Tuesday that $700 million in international aid designated for reconstruction and humanitarian use in Gaza was taken by Hamas, “over the blood of the children of Palestine,” Israel’s NRG News reported.

Fatah spokesman, Ahmad Assaf, claimed that, during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza absconded with the money before it reached its destination.

“They raised funds from the Arab world in the name of the martyrs in Gaza, and on behalf of women, children and elders, and they talked about rebuilding the Gaza Strip and Israel destroyed mosques,” Assaf said in an interview with Arab media.

The Fatah spokesman insisted that Hamas’ leadership must “return the money they stole from the families of the dead and wounded refugee families whose homes were destroyed by the war,” and warned against the Islamist group “taking advantage of the circumstances of the war of destruction…”

This is not the first time that Fatah has accused Hamas of exploiting the situation in Gaza, in their favor.

During the 50-days of the operation to quell rocket fire and terror attack tunnels, official Palestinian sources said Gazans and Hamas took control of aid transferred from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing facility and used it for personal needs.

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:26 PM  | Stand for Israel

World Yawns As Hamas Admits War Crimes

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

The world is now focused on stopping the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), and the media – as it so often does – has forgotten the war against terrorists, Operation Protective Edge, that only just finished. Now, the Associated Press is reporting that Hamas has admitted to war crimes during that conflict – war crimes that those who stand for Israel knew about all along – and Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin worries that the world won’t take notice:

But perhaps some of those who pooh-poohed Israel’s claims that Hamas was firing rockets at Israeli cities from civilian areas and thereby using the people of Gaza as human shields will pay a smidgeon of attention to the news that, as the Associated Press reported today, Hamas operatives admit that they did exactly what the Israelis said they did.

According to the AP, contrary to the claims of its defenders, Hamas operatives have admitted firing rockets from civilian areas in Gaza …

Hamas figures quoted by the AP contend that it was impossible for them to fire missiles without being in the vicinity of civilians because the strip is so congested. There are two answers to this argument.

One is to point out that, despite the contentions about Gaza being the most congested place on earth, that there are, plenty of vacant areas in the strip. Parts of Gaza are crowded but it is not one continuous urban jungle. If Hamas really wanted to avoid Israeli fire being brought down on areas where civilians lived they could have used such places. But, firing from beaches or open fields doesn’t provide the cover that hospitals, mosques or school courtyards give the terrorists.

More to the point, if the only places they shoot missiles that are deliberately aimed to cause the maximum civilian casualties for the Israelis are an urban area, and then a group that was not a pack of bloodthirsty terrorists would have held its fire. Hamas did not.

These admissions prove again, as if much more…

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Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 8:32 AM  | Stand for Israel

U.S. Senate Majority Leader: Hamas Is Just As Bad As ISIS

(Photo: U.S. Congress)

(Photo: U.S. Congress)

As the United States and other nations battle the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), it isn’t the only group threatening to terrorize the free world. While many ignore Hamas, and others champion them, it is heartening to know that some leaders still realize the terrorist threat that they are. In a speech on Thursday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not only called them what they are – a terrorist organization as bad as the one the U.S. is currently fighting – but pledged American support in Israel’s ongoing fight against Hamas:

But there is another evil organization in the world today that, like ISIS, has zero regard for humanity; they are kidnappers and executioners; they are violent extremists who murder innocent civilians; they are terrorists who cower behind women and children, using them as human shields; they are saboteurs of peace and provocateurs of bloody conflict who will not stop until their enemies are annihilated.

Once again, I’m not talking about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. I’m talking about Hamas. Hamas and ISIS are both vicious, corrupt, hateful, evil groups. And both are extreme. Yet, for some reason, Hamas’ brutality doesn’t elicit the same horror from the international community as ISIS. How can that be?

One of the few differences between these two terrorist organizations is that Hamas has a narrow, ghastly focus — the destruction of Israel. Consider its actions over the past several months:

Hamas raided its own limited supplies for housing and general infrastructure, intended to repair the destruction that occurred during the last conflict they initiated. But Hamas instead used the stolen materials to build tunnels to hide and infiltrate Israel — infiltrating to kill, maim, kidnap and murder the innocent. These depraved agitators launched thousands of rockets into Israel, hoping to inflict death and destruction. Their rockets had no aiming capabilities — they fired indiscriminately, not caring whether they hit a child,…

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Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 8:21 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas: Give Us West Bank So We Can Destroy Israel

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

While Operation Protective Edge put a dent in Hamas’ terror abilities in Gaza, the terrorist organization is still looking for a way to wage war on Israel. Khaled Abu Toameh writes that Hamas seeks control of the West Bank – either through force or through elections, which it would win over Abbas and his Palestinian Authority – in order to fulfill its goal of destroying the Jewish state:

If the West Bank had one quarter of the weapons that the Gaza Strip has, Israel would be eliminated in one day. This is what Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told worshippers during a sermon he delivered on September 5 …

The threats by Hamas and Iran regarding the West Bank show why it is critically important for Israel (and the Palestinian Authority) to insist on the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip as part of any long-term cease-fire agreement.

Even more significantly, these threats underline the need to keep the West Bank a demilitarized area in any future peace agreement, especially one that would see the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

Moreover, these threats support Israel’s insistence on maintaining permanent security control over the border with Jordan. Without such a presence, Iranian-made weapons would easily find their way into the West Bank.

What Hamas and Iran are saying is that if and when Israel pulls back to the pre-1967 lines, they, together with other Palestinians, would bring weapons into the West Bank to achieve their goal of eliminating the “Zionist entity.”

Zahar does not even believe that there is a need for large amounts of weapons – just one fourth of what Hamas and Islamic Jihad already have in the Gaza Strip are sufficient, in his eyes, to destroy Israel in one day.

In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, it is not difficult to understand why flooding the West Bank with weapons poses an existential threat to Israel.

But this is also something that would wreak havoc on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Fortunately, Mahmoud…

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Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 8:09 AM  | Stand for Israel

New Details of Abduction and Murder of Israeli Teens; Chief Suspect Indicted



The kidnapping of three Israeli teens – Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel – horrified Israel and its worldwide supporters. While the two terrorists who carried out the act are still at large, the mastermind behind the plot was indicted today and new details about the abduction and murder have surfaced:

[Hussam Hassan] Kawasmeh confessed his role in the kidnapping under Shin Bet interrogation, and implicated a number of other accomplices to the crime.

The manhunt for Kawasmeh – whose extended family figures prominently within the Hamas movement and its stronghold of Hevron – began as soon as the bodies were discovered. Realizing he would be a suspect, he prepared to flee to Jordan with the help of a fake passport and the support of several relatives in Hevron – Hashem Kawasmeh, Jameel Kawasmeh and Hassan Kawasmeh.

But his plans to escape were foiled after intelligence services got wind of them, and Kawasmeh was arrested in the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem. He had apparently shaved his beard off as part of efforts to conceal his identity, in preparation for his escape across the border.

Kawasmeh had previous spent time in an Israeli prison for links to another terror cell which carried out several bombing attacks. A significant number of his family members have also spent time behind bars or even been killed in clashes with security forces, including his brother Hussein Kawasmeh, who is currently serving a life sentence for a 2011 bombing attack in central Jerusalem which killed a British tourist and wounded dozens of others.

Another family member, the brother of kidnapper Marwan Kawasmeh, was Abdullah al-Qawasmeh. Abdullah was the leader of the Hevron branch of Hamas’s “military wing”, the Ezzadine al-Qassam Brigades. He was killed in a shootout with elite Israeli counter-terrorism police in 2003, who were hunting him for his involvement in several deadly terrorist attacks.

Hussam’s interrogation, as well as those of a number of other arrested suspects, revealed that he had played a fundamental part in the kidnapping, and served as its mastermind and…

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Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 10:39 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas and Human Sacrifice

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel reported on Hamas’ use of human shields. Taking a closer look at this inhumane tactic now that the war is over, Calev Myers wonders if the terrorists’ strategy isn’t one of human shields, but of human sacrifice:

So what is really happening here? Why do they continue to fire so many rockets at us? What do they hope to achieve? Either this is the least successful military campaign in the history of mankind, or the human casualty count on the Israeli side is not the primary goal of Hamas’ rocket strategy.

Today it is clear to the world that Hamas fires rockets from densely populated civilian areas in order to draw Israeli fire upon Palestinian elderly, women and children. Hamas has learned that systematically feeding disturbing photographs of bloody babies to the international press is the most effective weapon in the pursuit of its goals.

Hamas sees Israel as a strong enemy. It is trying to delegitimize us in order to arouse the fury of entities larger and stronger than us, even if they have to pay a very heavy price in human suffering to do so. Although the comparison is far from perfect, chapter 19 in the book of Judges tells us about a man from the tribe of Levi, whose concubine was raped and murdered by men from the tribe of Benjamin in the city of Gibeah. He cut her body into 12 pieces, sent them throughout all the land of Israel, and the rest is history. The response of all of the other tribes nearly blotted out the tribe of Benjamin from the annals of history.

The threat of Hamas’ blood-photo strategy should not be taken lightly. It has already caused an escalation of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks on Jewish communities around the world. The only way to fight this threat is by systematic and tactical advocacy, not merely in the defensive sense,…

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Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas’ “Victory”

(Photo: flickr/ unknown unknown)

(Photo: flickr/ unknown unknown)

As soon as yesterday’s ceasefire was announced, Hamas’ leaders crawled out from the bunkers and tunnels in which they’d been living, and from the hospitals underneath which they’d been cowardly hiding, and began proclaiming that their war with Israel had resulted in victory. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil wonders how the terrorist organization can consider this devastating defeat a win:

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership waged their war from deep underground bunkers, beneath high-rise buildings and below Gaza’s showcase Al-Shifa Hospital. The leadership left the civilian population above ground and urged them onto the roofs of buildings or to stay home and receive the strikes that were coming toward their weapons stockpiles and rocket launchers. Waging war from five-star hotels in Qatar or bunkers under Gaza’s urban landscape, Hamas’s leaders positioned these rocket launchers next to hospitals, schools, mosques, UNRWA facilities, residential complexes and even hotels where foreign media personnel were staying.

It was the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, not the Israelis, who are the war criminals. It was these Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders who were responsible for the civilian deaths of more than two thousand Gazans, while they safely hid and only claimed that they wanted to be shaheeds [martyrs].

While the Hamas leadership threw the Gazan civilians to their bitter fate, the Israelis used the safe rooms they had built for their civilians and their Iron Dome aerial defense system to keep their own civilians safe. Not relying solely on Iron Dome, the IDF sent infantry units to the front lines inside the Gaza Strip to protect Israel’s home front. The Israel Air Force attacked rocket and mortar shell launchers; its ground forces destroyed 32 terrorist tunnels that led from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

Its tunnels into Israel were blown up; the rockets smuggled in from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Korea were neutralized; thousands of civilians were killed and tens of thousands of Gazan homes were destroyed, and yet the…

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 9:28 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israel Emerges Victorious

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Yesterday we reported that Israel agreed to a long-term ceasefire in Gaza. As of today, Hamas has upheld the truce. Writing for Israel Hayom, Dan Margalit writes that despite the toll paid by Israel, her military, and her people, Operation Protective Edge is a victory for the Jewish state:

The vanquished will try to fire rockets up until the very last moment, despite profuse bleeding. We live in a world where perception occasionally trumps reality, and where the media has become as important as the battlefield. With all of that in mind, we can say that Israel emerged the victor on Tuesday.

For all the demagoguery going around about Israel having the upper hand, there is indeed a kernel of truth to that claim: Jerusalem’s basic demands have been met …

In the grand scheme of things, Israel has come out on top. It managed to secure a cease-fire without compromising on its terms. It essentially got what it had demanded all along, even before the fighting commenced. Hamas, on the other hand, now has to account for its various shortfalls. It has lost 1,000 terrorists, 32 tunnels, and 7,000 rockets (which did not inflict significant damage). This is the truth, despite the bereaving heart putting a damper on our victory celebrations.

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 9:06 AM  | Stand for Israel

“Open-Ended” Ceasefire Takes Effect

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Yediot Achronot is reporting that Israel and Hamas have agreed on what is being called a “long-term ceasefire”:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office confirmed Tuesday evening that an long-term ceasefire agreement was reached. State-run Egyptian television also reported on Tuesday evening that a truce deal had been reached between Israel and Hamas.

An Israeli official said that Jerusalem told Egypt that it accepted its offer of an ‘open-ended’ ceasefire.

Israel responded to the proposal after all the cabinet ministers had been informed of the developments. Sources said the Egyptian offer did not include the majority of Hamas’ demands.

According to a senior source in Hamas, the agreement includes the opening of the Rafah crossing under the supervision of the Abbas’ security forces.

Yet, immediately before the truce took effect, Arutz Sheva reports that a barrage of rockets from Gaza struck southern Israel, wounding several and killing one:

The sirens preceded a heavy barrage of rockets and mortar shells, during which six people in the Eshkol Regional Council were wounded by a rocket that struck a community in the region. One was wounded critically, two others seriously, one moderately and the rest lightly.

Resuscitation attempts were conducted on the critically wounded victim, but he soon succumbed to his wounds and died. AFP cited an Israeli security source as saying he was killed by mortar fire, which likewise wounded the other victims.

We pray for those who have been affected by these terrorist attacks, for God’s protection over the Holy Land and His people, and that this peace might take hold.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 11:16 AM  | Stand for Israel