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Monday, January 19, 2009

Shocka: Hamas declares 'victory'

With the local Hamas leadership crawling out of its bunkers underneath Shifa Hospital, the organization declared 'victory' on Sunday night to the applause of its Iranian patrons.
Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinians had achieved a historical and strategic victory over Israel, and claimed that Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip had failed.

The Hamas leader repeated the terror organization's demand for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Strip, and for the opening of the border crossings.

Haniyeh promised that Hamas would give aid to Palestinian families whose relatives were killed or injured during the war, and said Israeli leaders should be tried for war crimes.

Haniyeh went on to say Hamas's decision to declare a truce on Sunday was "wise and responsible."

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Hamas leader in Syria Khaled Mashaal and congratulated him on the "great victory" the Palestinians had achieved over the IDF, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported on Monday morning.

According to the report, Ahmadinejad said that this was "just the beginning of the victory, which will be completed with patience."

The Iranian president reportedly said the victory will be complete once Israel withdraws its forces from the Gaza Strip, lifts the siege and opens the border crossings, and when Islamic countries "break off contacts with the Zionist regime and its sponsors."

He went on to convey the support of the Iranian people in the Palestinians and their "legitimate government."

Mashaal reportedly told Ahmadinejad that Israel had failed to reach its "satanic" goals and promised that the "resistance" will continue until a full withdrawal of IDF troops from the Strip is completed.
As laughable as the Hamas 'victory' claim may be, there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned about the terror group.
A day after Hamas announced a truce with Israel, a spokesman for Izzadin Kassam, the group's military wing, stressed that Hamas will continue to rearm despite efforts to stop the weapon smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

"Do what you like, but the manufacturing of holy weapons is our goal," masked spokesman Abu Obeida said at a Gaza press conference on Monday.

"Bringing arms into Gaza is not smuggling. The natural situation would be for all Arab and Muslim countries, along with the rest of the free world, to formally allow weapons into the Strip... Meanwhile, we believe it is our right to bring arms in any way we find fit," the Hamas spokesman told reporters.

Abu Obeida went on to claim that only 48 of the group's gunmen were killed during Israel's three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip.

While Israel has reported that at least 500 of the reported 1,300 Palestinians killed in Gaza were terrorists, Hamas claimed that only several dozens of its men died in the fighting.

The terror group's spokesman also claimed that Hamas had killed 80 IDF soldiers in the fighting.

Also on Monday, Mushir al-Masri, another spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, said that the terror group would not lower its demands in return for captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit following the three-week war with Israel, and may even increase its demands.

"We are in a powerful, victorious position," he told Israel Radio, "Israel will soon learn that the balance of power has changed in Hamas's favor."

An unnamed Hamas source told the radio station that Hamas had gained popularity in light of the war with Israel. "The people are not angry with Hamas, and the group will rebuild every home that was damaged," he said.

The unnamed source assessed that between 150 and 200 Palestinian gunmen, including Hamas fighters, were killed during the IDF's Operation Cast Lead.
There is an important point here. One of the reasons Hezbullah has managed to maintain its popularity in Lebanon despite what that country suffered through as a result of the war there in 2006 is that the moneys to rebuild were distributed through Hezbullah, making the people of southern Lebanon feel that they owe something to Hezbullah. We cannot let that happen again.

Abu Mazen announced this morning that moneys to be distributed to rebuild homes in Gaza (some $2 billion is expected to come from the Arab League - believe that when you see it) should be filtered through the 'good terrorists' of Fatah, but given Abu Mazen's past 'mistakes' distributing money, I'm not sure that's a great idea. On the other hand, distributing money through terror-dominated, corrupt UNRWA's auspices is no better. Put US or EU nationals on the ground to distribute the funds? That sounds nice, but who would be willing to expose themselves to that kind of danger?

Another problem is how truces are regarded under Islamic law. Jihad Watch reminds us:
For example, below is a passage from Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler), a Shafi'i Islamic jurisprudence manual certified as "reliable" by Egypt's Al-Azhar University:
Truces are permissible, not obligatory....Interests that justify making a truce are such things as Muslim weakness because of lack of numbers or materiel, or the hope of an enemy becoming Muslim...If the Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) made a truce with the Quraysh for that long, as is related by Abu Dawud....The rulings of such a truce are inferable from those of the non-Muslim poll tax; namely, that when a valid truce has been effected, no harm may be done to non-Muslims until it expires.
And then there is Iran, which is not throwing in the towel as Captain Ed seems to believe. Israeli intelligence believes that Iran will try to build a bigger and stronger Hamas, which will be able to reach Tel Aviv (and Jerusalem) the next time (and don't kid yourselves - thanks to our cream of wheat government, which didn't finish the job when it had the opportunity, there will be a next time).
All of the intelligence assessments in Israel point to the fact that Iran seeks to rearm Hamas with the rockets that it lost, and will aspire to widen their range so as to be able to hit Tel Aviv. Egypt, whose President Hosni Mubarak has already defined a Hamas state in Gaza as an Iranian satellite that has grown on its doorstep, has a considerable interest in preventing the groups rearmament. Is Cairo's stated desire and the new Israel-U.S. agreement enough to curb the smuggling and prevent another escalation? Opinion in Israel is split, but this will be the key question in light of which the Gaza campaign's success will be determined.
Don't count on the Egyptians to stop the smuggling. They're more concerned with keeping the Gazans in Gaza than with keeping the weapons out of Gaza. They'll let the weapons in so long as Hamas doesn't let the Gazans out.


At 5:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There will be another war... and no guarantee Israeli casualties will be as low as the last time around. Of course, it depends on whether Israel's government really wants to win a war.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Ahmed from Gaza said...

Destruction is not a nice sight. Nevertheless, I can tell you in the name of MANY friends here, that our people, the Palestinian people, are better of today. Hamas is the real cancer in our society and with the big blow they got we have a chance for normal life.
Just watch this video and see what they have done with our children: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8

At 5:48 AM, Blogger JR said...

Article 51 of the United Nations Charter reserves to every nation the right to engage in self-defense against armed attacks. As Professor Alan Dershowitz has also noted, "The claim that Israel has violated the principle of proportionality -- by killing more Hamas terrorists than the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets -- is absurd. First, there is no legal equivalence between the deliberate killing of innocent civilians and the deliberate killings of Hamas combatants. Under the laws of war, any number of combatants can be killed to prevent the killing of even one innocent civilian. Second, proportionality is not measured by the number of civilians actually killed, but rather by the risk posed.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Captain USpace said...

There is no negotiating with a mad man, or with Jihadis who want to die to go get their 72 virgins.
I hope Israel doesn't quit too early. If Israel is destroyed, terrorism in the rest of the world will just increase, it will never stop, as long as there are Radical Muslims, or rather, Muslim Fundamentalists; who are appeased, defended, and kissed up to.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
let someone hit you

over and over again
and NEVER hit back harder

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
DO NOT defend your country

from terrorist monkeys
just let them bomb you at will

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
blame your failings on the Jews

for a few more thousand years
they are Earth's scapegoats

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
give Israel away

to appease her enemies
dishonor ALL Jews

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never mock Hamas

it's just their religion
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