Hamas, PIJ face criticism for mourning ‘murderer’ Soleimani

“Soleimani was a murderer,” Hils said on Facebook. “Those who are mourning him don’t represent us. The Palestinians stand with their Muslim brothers. The enemy of the Muslims is our enemy."

HAMAS MEMBERS in Gaza. (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders have been facing sharp criticism from several Palestinians and other Arabs for setting up a mourning tent in the Gaza Strip for Qasem Soleimani.
The critics took the two Iranian-backed Palestinian groups to task for expressing condolences over the death of Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was killed in a US assassination last week, and accused them of seeking to appease Tehran in order to ensure continued financial and military support.
They also accused Hamas and PIJ of “trading in religion, hypocrisy and disregarding the blood of thousands of Muslims” killed by Soleimani’s force and allies in a number of Arab countries.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday phoned Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and offered condolences over the “martyrdom” of Soleimani. Haniyeh praised Soleimani for his support for the Palestinian people,” according to a Hamas statement.
PIJ secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhalah also phoned the Iranian foreign minister to offer condolences over the death of Soleimani.
“The martyrdom of Soleimani is a sign of pride and dignity in the face of America and the Zionist entity,” Nakhalah said, according to a PIJ statement. “The martyrdom of Maj.-Gen. Soleimani is a big loss, but it won’t break the [Palestinian] resistance.”
The Palestinian Authority has not reacted to the assassination.
In several posts on social media, many Palestinians and Arabs expressed outrage also over statements by Hamas and PIJ in which they offered condolences to Iran’s leaders.
“Why is Gaza setting up a mourning tent for the murderer Soleimani?” remarked Amr Al-Mogy, an Egyptian Facebook user.
Nadia El Shafei, another Egyptian, replied: “Because they are all traitors.”
Mona Mohamed also replied by posting on Facebook: “Terrorists accepting condolences over the death of their terrorist leader and employer. Nothing unusual about that.”
Another Egyptian Facebook user, Dr. Bahjat Kamal, commented: “Hamas is accepting condolences over the killing of the despicable Soleimani, who killed, burned and displaced Sunnis in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.”
Mohamed Htaibat, a Jordanian professor of Islamic studies, also denounced Hamas and PIJ.
“Iran and its proxies, who present themselves as the defenders of the Palestinian cause, don’t really care about Palestine,” he said on Facebook. “Hamas made a mistake by failing to understand the reality other than through its interests. This will result in Hamas’s gradually distancing itself from its Arab environment. It will also lose support among Arabs and Muslims. Anyone who stands with Iran is standing against Sunnis.”
Palestinian political analyst Ibrahim Hamami reacted with fury to the obituary statements published by Hamas and PIJ. In a post on Twitter, he said: “A statement by Hamas mourning the murderer Qasem Soleimani represents a moral decline, political suicide and hostility towards our nation. It’s inconceivable that a meeting took place [in the Gaza Strip] and a decision was taken to issue such a catastrophic statement.”
Amr Abu Amin, a Palestinian from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, said those who set up the mourning tent for “the murderer Soleimani represent only themselves.”
“It’s regrettable to see a mourning tent in the Gaza Strip for the murderer Soleimani,” he added.
Jihad Hils, a Palestinian writer and Islamic preacher from Gaza City, said he “strongly disagreed” with the decision taken by Hamas and PIJ to set up a mourning tent for the IRGC commander.
“Soleimani was a murderer,” Hils said on Facebook. “Those who are mourning him don’t represent us. The Palestinians stand with their Muslim brothers. The enemy of the Muslims is our enemy. He who kills Muslims also kills us.”
Majed Abdel Nur, another Palestinian writer from the Gaza Strip, said the time has come to hold Hamas to account for its hostile positions towards Arabs.
“Those who support murderers are also murderers. It’s time to hold the [Hamas] traitors to account.”
Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, deputy head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, posted a Facebook comment on Saturday in which he described Soleimani as the “Iranian military commander of Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.”
In his post, Khatib wrote: “I never believed that you would arrive in Jerusalem to be martyred there as commander of [the] Quds Force. You have been killed at Baghdad Airport as you arrived from Damascus to pursue your plans to kill Muslims and displace them in Damascus, Aleppo, Idlib, Baghdad, Mosul and Fallujah. Jerusalem is pure and can be liberated only by those who are pure.”