Should Israel Worry? What is Hamas, really?
This link following reprints the 'Covenant' written in 1988: link -which originally came from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, which is a marvelous piece of work. To really understand what Hamas is all about one has to read the Covenant. Then read the following, in case you thought that they have changed their tune since then:
Hamas election video calls for armed struggle till Israel's annihilation --
Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, December 15, 2005
with permission of Palestinian Media Watch.
Hamas women by a "map" of Islamified Israel (AP file)
In a new Hamas pre-election video, the terror organization again declares that it will not give up its armed struggle until Israel is destroyed.
The Hamas message likewise celebrates its love of death as superior to the Israeli love of life. It also expresses support for those Israeli Arabs that wish to destroy Israel "from the interior." Hamas looks forward to a day when its flag will fly over not only Jerusalem, but over all Israeli cities, including Acre and Haifa.
The release of the new video on the Hamas website, reiterating its goal of destroying Israel, coincides with two polls this week showing Hamas turning into a major political force, with between 32% and 45% of Palestinians saying they will vote for Hamas in January's parliamentary elections. What are the implications for peace, should nearly 50% of the Palestinian Authority parliament be open supporters of Israel's destruction?
It will be interesting to see if the continuing Hamas election campaign calling for Israel's destruction will prompt a change in United States or European Union policy. The US State Department has made clear that while it continues to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars of support to the PA, it will make no demands on it to prevent the Hamas from participating in the upcoming elections. The EU and United Nations have also agreed that Hamas can participate in the elections.
The following are the words on the new Hamas video:
"We succeeded, with Allah's grace, to raise an ideological generation that loves death like our enemies love life. We will not abandon the way of Jihad and Shahada [Martyrdom] as long as one inch of our holy land is in the hands of the Jews.
"Congratulations to our people of 1948 [Israeli Arabs] on the liberation of Gaza. You wish to destroy them [the Israelis] from the interior. We will never forget you, and never leave you. A day will come when our flag will fly above all the quarters of our land. Our flag will fly on the minarets of Jerusalem, and the walls of Acre, and the quarters of Haifa."
[Hamas website, December 12, 2005] Source
But, they are working on a better version:
Hamas working on 'new charter'
Orly Halpern, THE JERUSALEM POST,
Feb. 16, 2006
At closed meetings in hotel suites in Beirut and Damascus, Hamas has been developing a new charter that is designed to showcase a more moderate and non anti-Semitic face, one of those advising on its content has told The Jerusalem Post.
Appearances are everything. Read all about it at the Jerusalem Post.
The Hamas Brand of 'Armed Resistance' -- Jerusalem, 2003
....and finally, a little extra background for perspective.
Hamas was founded by Islamic militant extremists in the Gaza Strip in 1988, shortly after the first intifada broke out. The word Hamas is an acronym for the Arabic words for "Islamic Resistance Movement." The organization is devoted chiefly to the obliteration of Israel. Its charter states, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." The charter further states, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
Hamas is responsible for 24 murders before the Oslo Accords, 156 more before the Oslo War began in September 2000, and at least another 377 since then - a total of at least 557.
The organization's first mass attack was a car bomb that blew up at a bus stop in Afula in April 1994, murdering 8 and wounding 51. Among the most horrific Hamas attacks were the following:
22 people murdered and 56 wounded in a suicide bombing attack on the No. 5 bus on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv in October of 1994.
26 murdered by suicide bomber on a #18 bus near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station in February of 1996.
16 murdered in the Machane Yehuda open market in Jerusalem in a double suicide attack in July of 1997.
23 dead and 115 wounded when a Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up on a No. 2 bus line coming from the Western Wall in Jerusalem in August of 2003.
45 murdered within the space of five days in March 2002: a suicide Hamas terrorist blew himself up in a Haifa resturant, killing 15, and another one did the same in the Park Hotel in Netanya during a Passover Seder, murdering some 30 and wounding 144.
The ten worst Oslo War Hamas attacks, in which a total of 186 were murdered, also included the following:
June 1, 2001 - Dolpinarium in Tel Aviv, 21 murdered - mostly new-immigrant teenagers from the Soviet Union.
August 9, 2001 - Sbarro's Pizzeria in Jerusalem, 15 murdered
December 2, 2001 - Haifa bus, 15 murdered
May 7, 2002 - Rishon Letzion hall, 16 murdered
June 18, 2002 - #32 bus from Gilo, Jerusalem 19 murdered
March 5, 2003 - #37 bus in Haifa, 15 murdered
June 11, 2003 - #14 bus, Jerusalem, 17 murdered
And the list goes on.
and on, and on...