Palestinian fishermen in the waters off of the Gaza Strip.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A dramatic change occurred last week in the Gaza Strip, one whose effects are yet to be known. Muhammad Nazami Nasser, a co-founders of Hamas’s “military wing,” Izzadin Kassam, announced on Facebook that he apologizes for bringing destruction upon the Palestinian people.
Going further, Nasser also apologized for Izzadin Kassam’s bitter rivalry with various Palestinian factions, “within and outside [of Palestine],” such as “the immortal Palestinian president Yasser Arafat,” Fatah, the PFLP, the DFLP and others.
He said he was sorry for the “horror of hatred that lived within me toward you [i.e. the political factions],” and for his “relentless work so that you would not have a geographical or political place on the national map.”
Nasser lives in Gaza, where he belongs to a political movement called Wataniyyin, or “Patriots,” an organization of former Fatah and PFLP members who work for reconciliation among the Palestinian factions. He blames Hamas for the disunity and for prolonging it, and apparently for attributing this to Islam.
“I ask God to forgive me for this [deception] from the Devil [i.e., Hamas], that this hatred would bring me to the highest height of Paradise. O God, O God, O God, I have been deprived of the blessing of diversity... My homeland has been destroyed because I couldn’t comprehend the acceptance of others. And what is worse, I thought I was working with religion.”
If Hamas is the Devil, then the Devil made him do it: the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers and civilians, the digging of attack tunnels from the Gaza Strip, and the thousands of rockets bearing Izzadin Kassam’s brand name, to cite a few.
“I hope you will accept my apology for this, though it may not be helpful after all this destruction and devastation against religion, the homeland and the people,” he added.
Nasser has been keeping a low profile since last Wednesday’s revelations and according to the official Palestinian Authority news site, Wafa, it has been unable to get in touch with him. Sources say he has indicated willingness to run in the PA municipal election in October.
On the other hand, Hamas is not known for its culture of democratic discussion or tolerance of those who break the vow of silence regarding Gaza’s Mafia-like terrorist regime.
Izzadin Kassam is recognized as a terrorist group by the EU, the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Egypt.
Its policy on Israel has never varied since Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar vowed on Al-Aksa TV in 2012: “There is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation.”
Zahar promised more recently, last Sunday, in the movement’s Falastin newspaper, to remove all the Jews from “Palestine.” His comment was recorded at a memorial ceremony for a Gaza youth who was killed in the collapse of an attack tunnel he was digging to strike at Israeli civilians.
Zahar declared that the struggle to liberate “Palestine” would not be stopped by borders and barbed wire fences, because the Palestinians have God on their side. “We will remove the Jews from our land; this is a divine promise that will take place.”
While Zahar spoke for Hamas, a representative of the Izzadin Kassam “military wing” repeated the movement’s mantra: “Struggle is the only way and the most appropriate way to liberate Palestine and dispose of its occupier.”
Part of Hamas’s “struggle” is to hold four so-called Israeli “prisoners of war”: the remains of two soldiers, and two Israelis who wandered into Gaza and went missing.
Lt. Hadar Goldin and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul were killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Avraham Mengistu, who was suffering from severe depression, crossed into Gaza in 2014 and has not been seen since. The other missing Israeli believed to be alive in Gaza is a Beduin from the Negev whose identity has not been made public.
Nasser said nothing about the destruction Hamas has caused Israel in acts of murder and criminal rocket bombardments of civilians. But even though his words were meant as an apology to only an internal audience, his thoughts were basically inadequate and insincere. For one must ask, how much can Hamas really care that Palestinians die in a conflict it started and will not abandon until it achieves genocide against Israelis? Hasn’t Hamas been enlisting them all along to become martyrs?