Celebrations over the weekend by Hamas in Gaza for its 25th anniversary turned
into a hate fest against Israel, in which the true colors of the Islamist
terrorist organization were on show.
The highlight of Hamas’s opera was
the triumphal appearance in Gaza for the first time of its star-in-exile, Khaled
Mashaal. Addressing masses of supporters holding green Hamas flags at a rally in
Gaza City on Saturday, Mashaal pledged to liberate the entire land of
“Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south.”
will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation,” he
In response, the crowd chanted, according to Reuters: “Oh dear
Mashaal, your army struck Tel Aviv,” referring to the rockets Hamas fired at the
city during last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense, and then beseeched: “Do it
again, hit Haifa next time!” Mashaal pointedly called for an end to the bitter
dispute between Hamas, which rules Gaza, and Fatah, which controls most of the
“After the Gaza victory, it is time now for ending this
chapter of division and build Palestinian unity,” he said.
point of view, any unity government comprising Fatah and Hamas would end any
chances of a dialogue between Israel and the Fatah-led Palestinian
How can the Jewish state enter negotiations with a Palestinian
entity that includes a party bent on its destruction? Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday to note that PA President Mahmoud Abbas had
not distanced himself from Mashaal’s stance.
“It is interesting that Abu
Mazen [Abbas] has issued no condemnation, not of the remarks about the
destruction of Israel, just as previously he did not condemn the missiles that
were fired at Israel,” Netanyahu said. “To my regret, he strives for unity with
the same Hamas that is supported by Iran.”
On the other hand, President
Shimon Peres posted on Facebook that Israel now faces a choice.
alternative to Hamas is Abbas,” Peres said. “He is a serious man who has
declared himself in favor of peace and compromise, of a demilitarized
Palestinian state and against terror.”
As for Mashaal himself, there were
some who asked why Israel had allowed him in to Gaza. Perhaps the best answer
was provided by the Foreign Ministry spokesman, who said that his entry proved
that there was no absolute “siege” on Gaza, as Hamas claims.
now shuttles between Cairo and Qatar and left Gaza for Egypt on Monday, became
Hamas’s political leader in exile in 2004 after the organization’s founder,
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was assassinated by Israel.
Born in the West Bank in
1956, he went into exile with his family in 1967 after the Six Day War. He is
often described by foreign media outlets as being “moderate” compared to Hamas’s
Gaza leaders, such as Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar.
example, told CNN recently that Hamas would accept a Palestinian state along the
pre-1967 lines, signaling a willingness to accept Israel’s existence. But such
an idea was not evident on Saturday when during his address in Gaza, Mashaal
vowed to free “all of Palestine” – including Jerusalem, “inch by
In case there was any doubt about the meaning of his words, the
Hamas silver anniversary rally took place in front of a panoramic view of
Jerusalem, including al-Aksa Mosque, and a massive model of a rocket “made in
Mashaal also made a point of embracing boys dressed in military
uniform and carrying toy guns.
The message to Israel and the world is
crystal clear. Despite its appeal to the international community to stop
labeling it a “terrorist” organization, Hamas has abandoned neither its
genocidal intentions nor its threats to target civilians.
calls for the destruction of Israel, and its social media outlets brandish a new
logo calling for the replacement of the whole Jewish state with a Palestinian
The Egyptian-mediated cease-fire reached between Israel and Hamas
on November 21 notwithstanding, it is only a matter of time before the group
that seized control of Gaza from Fatah in 2007 resumes its terrorist attacks
We, supporters of Israel and opponents of terrorism
everywhere, must now redouble our efforts to fight Hamas hatred, wherever it
rears its ugly head, especially in the media. And if Abbas decides to join in
the poisonous chorus while Hamas takes center stage, then he too should not be
applauded by the international community.