Hamas rebuffs leader’s call for worldwide attacks on Jews

Hamas said the views of Fathi Hammad “don’t represent the movement’s official positions.” (AFP/File photo)
Updated 16 July 2019

Hamas rebuffs leader’s call for worldwide attacks on Jews

GAZA CITY: The militant Hamas group is distancing itself from a leader who called for the slaughter of Jews worldwide.
In a statement Monday, the Islamist movement said recent remarks by Fathi Hammad, a member of its politburo, “don’t represent the movement’s official positions.”
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Hammad’s remarks conflicted with its amended charter that restricted Hamas’s conflict to the Israeli occupation, “not the Jews or their religion,” according to the rare statement.
Speaking to demonstrators in Gaza on Friday, Hammad called for attacks on “every Jew on the globe.”

“If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God’s permission. The explosion is not only going to be in Gaza but also in the West Bank and abroad, God willing,” Hamad said.
“But our brothers outside are preparing, trying to prepare, warming up.”
He continued: “Seven million Palestinians outside, enough warming up, you have Jews with you in every place. You should attack every Jew possible in all the world and kill them.”

His speech was captured on video and shared on social media.

Since March 2018, Palestinians have been taking part in Hamas-backed protests and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border in part against the Jewish state’s crippling blockade of Gaza.
At least 295 Palestinians and seven Israelis have since been killed in Gaza-related violence.
The Israeli toll recently rose to seven after an 89-year-old woman who fell while running for a bomb shelter during a flare-up of violence in May died of her injuries, according to Israel’s foreign ministry.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and others.
Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the comments showed “what Hamas is about.”
“Hamas is behind the riots on the Gaza border... Hamas wants to murder Jews worldwide,” Gendelman said on Twitter.
“Now you know why we protect the border with Gaza from Hamas.”

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the West Bank-based Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which unlike Hamas has recognized Israel, condemned Hamad’s comments.
“The just values of the Palestinian cause include love for freedom, justice and equality. The repugnant statement of Hamas leader Mr. Fathi Hamad about Jews doesn’t represent any of them,” he tweeted.

'Dangerous, repugnant and inciteful statement'
United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov also condemned the comments, labelling them a “dangerous, repugnant and inciteful statement! It must to be clearly condemned by ALL.”
In a statement later Monday, Hamas distanced itself from Hamad’s words.
“These comments do not represent the official positions of the movement and its consistent, adopted policies, which say our conflict is with the (Israeli) occupation which occupied our land and sullies our holy places and not a conflict with Jews across the world or Judaism as a religion,” it said.
Hamad issued his own statement, saying he was committed to the Hamas charter focused on “resistance against the Zionist occupation” of Palestinian land.
“Our resistance to the occupation will continue by all means, through arms or through the popular and peaceful struggle,” he said.
Hamas seized control of Gaza from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in a 2007 near civil war.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in Gaza since 2008.
Israel says its blockade of the territory is necessary to isolate Hamas and keep it from obtaining weapons or material to make them.
Critics say it amounts to collective punishment of Gaza’s two million residents and creates poverty that can feed extremism.

Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor

Updated 25 February 2020

Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor

  • UN says it was trying to double aid deliveries across a border crossing from Turkey from 50 to 100 trucks a day.
  • Idlib has seen hundreds of thousands of people flee the violence

BEIRUT: Turkish shelling Monday killed nine regime fighters in northwest Syria, where Ankara-backed rebels are fighting off advancing regime forces, a monitor said.
Syrian regime forces have since December clawed back parts of the last major opposition bastion of Idlib in violence that has displaced almost a million people.
Fighting raged on Monday, killing almost 100 fighters on both sides around the jihadist-dominated bastion, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
Those included 41 pro-regime fighters, as well as 53 jihadists and allied rebels.
Overall on Monday, the regime advanced rapidly in the south of the bastion, but lost the town of Nayrab along the M4 highway to Turkish-backed rebels in the southeast.
Turkish shelling in that area killed four regime fighters near Nayrab and another five near the town of Saraqeb to its east, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Opposition fighters had already broken back into Nayrab last week after the regime seized it at the start of the month, but then lost it again several hours later.
Saraqeb, which lies at the intersection of the M4 and another important highway the M5, has been under regime control since February 8.
Earlier Monday, Russian air strikes killed five civilians in the Jabal Al-Zawiya area in the south of the bastion, the Observatory said.
In fighting on the ground, regime forces seized 10 towns and villages south of the M4, which links the coastal regime stronghold of Latakia to government-held second city Aleppo, it said.
State news agency SANA, for its part, said “units of the Syrian army continued to progress in the south of Idlib” province.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the regime’s aim was to wrest back control of stretches of the M4 still under the control of jihadists and allied rebels.
That would require operations against the towns of Ariha and Jisr Al-Shughur, both along the M4.
Analysts expect a tough battle for Jisr Al-Shughur, held by the jihadist Turkistan Islamic Party whose fighters mainly hail from China’s Uighur Muslim minority.
They are allied to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate which dominates the Idlib region.
Loyalist forces have already taken back control of the M5, which connects the capital with Aleppo.
They have also secured the region around the northern city, a major pre-war industrial hub.
Fighting in northwest Syria since December has forced some 900,000 people to flee their homes and shelters amid bitter cold.
The United Nations said Monday that the latest fighting was coming “dangerously close” to encampments of the displaced, risking an imminent “bloodbath.”
Mark Cutts, a UN humanitarian coordinator, also told reporters in Geneva that the world body was trying to double aid deliveries across a border crossing with Turkey from 50 to 100 trucks a day.
Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.