Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
Fatah and Hamas have formed a national-unity government following talks in Moscow. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.
Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, January 19, 2017:
Fatah and Hamas, which control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, concluded an agreement to form a national unity government. The Palestinian Authority, which is the official body that rules the Palestinian-controlled areas, as per the Oslo Accords, will now begin the process of forming a new national council. The P.A. president is Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas and Fatah also announced they will hold elections that will include members of the Palestinian diaspora. Elections were last held in 2007.
“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad told media.
Here are ten reasons why Hamas is not fit to be part of any government.
Hamas Is A Designated Terrorist Organization
Hamas is a terrorist group and is designated as such by Israel (obviously) but also the United States, the EU, Canada and Japan so this one should come as no surprise.
Hamas Deliberately Targets Civilians
Most recently Hamas praised the string of violent attacks that hit Israel over the past year and half.
In the last Gaza war, Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. “Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible” Israeli left-wing human rights organization B’Tselem said about the last Gaza war.
They Use Civilians As Human Shields
According to the Geneva Conventions, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”
Hamas does precisely this. In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas ordered civilians to remain in their homes if they were about to be bombed. All the more gallingly, Hamas deliberately manipulates the inevitable civilian casualties that result, using the blood of Palestinians to purchase international sympathy.
Hamas Steals Palestinian Aid For Military Purposes
Hamas receives a lot of aid from around the world for the Gaza strip, which is frequently the subject of international aid campaigns. Yet Hamas steals much of this aid for its own purposes. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold. “A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes.”
Hamas uses the cement to construct multi-million dollar tunnels via which it hopes to carry out cross-border raids into Israel to murder Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.
In August 2016, Israel leveled charges against Mohammed el Halabi the head of World Vision in Gaza for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian purposes to Hamas for its terrorist activities.
Hamas Steals Money From Palestinians to Enrich Their Leaders
Hamas controls the lucrative smuggling tunnels that bring goods into Gaza from Egypt. They tax incoming products for revenue. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that,” Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College who served in a variety of senior military positions told Globes. “The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits.”
Hamas also receives donations, both from wealthy Muslims in America and internationally, but also from state sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.
This money has been appropriated by the Hamas leadership who enriched themselves at the expense of Palestinians. The inner circle of Hamas are millionaires.
Hamas Executes Dissenters and Stifles Critique
Hamas routinely carries out extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture of dissidents within the territory it controls. This includes supporters of rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah (with whom Hamas will now be forming a unity government) as well as those accused of collaborating with Israel.
Hamas is not believed to conduct fair trials.
In 2014 during the last Gaza war, Hamas carried out a campaign of targeted killings and abductions detailed in the Amnesty International Report entitled “‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture And Summary Killings Of Palestinians By Hamas Forces During The 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict.”
“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International, then Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”
Nor did this stop after the war. “Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” Human Rights Watch said as recently as August 2016.
Hamas Wants a Theocratic State and Murders LGBT People
Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is pledged to establish an Islamic State as a final goal. It terms itself “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and article one of its founding charter reads “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”
Although Hamas is continually on a war-footing and has therefore been less focused on establishing a sharia-based system of governance than other Islamist groups, it still takes the time to implement sharia governance where it can.
In this vein Hamas has imprisoned women for sex outside marriage.
Hamas Persecutes the LGBT Community
In January 2016, Hamas executed one of its senior commanders after allegations of gay sex emerged. John Calvin (not his real name) is from one of Hamas’ most important families and fought for and gained asylum in the United States because if he returned to Nablus he would be murdered.
These are rarely mentioned by those in the “Queers for Palestine” movement.
Israel Withdrew From Gaza And Hamas Turned it Into A Terrorist State
In 2005 Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2007 Hamas took over and turned the enclave into their own personal fiefdom.
Governmental errors in the Israeli withdrawal notwithstanding , Hamas demonstrated its lack of commitment to its own people and to the path of peace by choosing rejectionism and violence instead.
Hamas Perpetrates Child Abuse
Hamas trains young children in its military training camps to indoctrinate them with the group’s Islamist and jihadist ideology and train them for hatred and warfare.
This is backed up by Hamas media outlets which produce children’s programs that inculcate the next generation with the Hamas ideology.