Wednesday, March 13, 2013

13-Mar-13: How far away is the next terrorist atrocity? As far as the next security slip-up by Israel, Heaven forbid

Hamas Interior Minister, Fathi Hammad [Image Source]
We read far too many ill-informed news reports suggesting that the seriously deadly terrorism of the Arafat War (the mis-named Second Intifada) are behind us and that this is due to a pragmatic desire by the competing Palestinian Arab regimes to calm things down, at least for now. 

These claims are untrue and unfounded. They represent wishful thinking at best; they are probably better described as cynical and knowing manipulation of public opinion. They have been untrue at virtually every moment of the past 13 years, if not longer. Terrorism subsides when its agents are intercepted and defeated. This is a function of vigilence - and good fortune.

The Jerusalem Post reported in the last hour on a warning by the Shabak, based on intelligence that comes partly from the questioning of security suspects arrested days before planning to carry out terrorist actions, that the Minister of the Interior in the Hamas regime version of the Palestinian Arab government, Fathi Hammad, is the key figure behind plans for agents of terrorism to carry out atrocities against Israeli civilians. It notes that Hammad "has often called out for the continuation of terror attacks in Israel".

The Shabak says Hammad is busily activating terrorist members of a group called 'Defenders of Al Aqsa', which he was instrumental in setting up, to execute those terrorist actions. They come principally from the villages of Ras Karkar and Siluad in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.
The terrorists "received concrete instructions to kidnap a soldier, take his ID and cell phone for negotiations, and then kill and bury him at a hideout," the report said. Prior to their arrest, the terrorists sent a message to Gaza saying they were ready to act within days. The arrest prevented impending terror attacks, the Shin Bet added.
Efforts by Hamas, whose power base is in Gaza, to establish and activate terrorist cells in the West Bank where Fatah/PLO/Palestinian Authority is in nominal control, include recruiting action-hungry young Palestinian Arab recruits 
to create and fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank, to kidnap and kill a soldier, and prepare suicide bombings, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said Wednesday. On the surface, the four-month truce between Israel and Hamas appears to be holding well since the cessation of last year's eight day conflict, but behind the scenes, senior Hamas officials in Gaza are increasing their efforts to carry out deadly attacks on Israelis, the Shin Bet added.
The Shabak statement goes on to refer to a key factor about which most informed analysts know but choose to ignore for political reasons: 
"the extent of the involvement by senior Hamas members in setting up terror attacks against targets in the West Bank and Israel, despite their commitments to Egypt to uphold a truce" with Israel.
Care to know a little more about this Hammad and his passions?:
  • When his own three-year old daughter became ill, she was sent to medical treatment to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, the southern Israeli city that has come under regular bombardment from Hamas-controlled Gaza. She was subsequently sent to Jordan for follow-on treatment, a move that was approved by Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak and by the IDF [source]
  • He is a proponent of the use of human shields. Speaking in February 2008 [captured on video here] he addressed a Gaza rally with this exhortation: "For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen (holy fighters) and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.'"
  • A Gazan charity called Waad, which was headed by Hamad, offered a $1.4 million bounty in November 2009 to any Arab citizen of Israel who abducted an Israeli soldier. This was the first time money had been offered as an incentive [source]
Video frame from Hammad's foaming-at-the-mouth tirade
on Egyptian television, April 2012 [Image Source]
In a foaming-at-the-mouth tirade on Egyptian television [view the video here] in April 2012, he made some extraordinary statements including this frank confession [from the transcript]: 
"When we seek the help of our Arab brothers, we are not seeking their help in order to eat, to live, to drink, to dress, or to live a life of luxury. No. When we seek their help, it is in order to continue to wage Jihad... Allah be praised, we all have Arab roots, and every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots - whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties. So where is your affection and mercy? ...Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ["Egyptian"]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis. Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you. Allah Akbar. All praise to Allah. Allah Akbar. How can you keep silent, oh Muslims, when the people of Gaza are dying?" 
Al-Masri happens to be the name of the clan from which the religious fanatic who exploded in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001 came.

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