PA official: Hamas should admit defeat

Abbas' adviser compares 7-week Gaza op to ancient battle for Medina, 2nd holiest city in Islam, which saw heavy casualties and was widely considered a loss for Muslims.

August 28, 2014 18:08
1 minute read.
Gaza City

Hamas supporters celebrate with people what they said was a victory over Israel in Gaza City, August 27. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Mahmoud al-Habbash, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, hinted on Thursday that Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip should admit their defeat in Operation Protective Edge.

Habbash, who until recently served as PA Minister for Religious Affairs, drew a comparison between the Battle of Uhud, fought in 625 between Muslims from Medina led by the Prophet Muhammad and “polytheists” led by Abu Sufyan in Harb from Mecca.

The battle is generally believed to be a defeat for the Muslims, especially because of the heavy casualties they suffered.

Muhammad himself was badly wounded in the fighting.

Seeking revenge for their defeat in a previous battle, the polytheists mobilized an army of thousands of soldiers and set out to strike at the Prophet’s forces.

The Muslims initially seemed to have the upper hand, but a breach of Muhammad’s orders allowed a surprise attack from the “polytheists.”

This resulted in what is perceived as a defeat of the Muslim force in Medina.

In a post on his Facebook page, Habbash, who currently serves as Abbas’s adviser on religious affairs and chief of Islamic courts, noted that although the polytheists did not enter Medina and failed to kill the Prophet Muhammad, “history has registered that the Muslims were defeated because of the heavy casualties they suffered.”

In a message directed at Hamas, Habbash wrote: “The Muslims admitted their defeat,” he said.

He went on to quote from the Koran: “So take warning, O people of vision.”

Habbash, who is originally from the Gaza Strip, defected from Hamas several years ago and moved to the West Bank, where he became one of Abbas’s top confidants. Over the past few years he has been very critical of Hamas especially during his sermons at Friday prayers.

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