Just before heading underground to avoid Israel’s response to the multi-pronged terrorist attacks in Southern Israel, senior Hamas member Ahmed Yousef noted, “I don’t think Hamas is behind these attacks, but we praise them since they were against soldiers.” Putting aside the not so minor fact that six of the eight Israelis killed in the attack were civilians, including two sisters and their husbands traveling to Eilat on vacation, the provocation underscores the challenges presented by the Palestinian’s move to unilaterally declare statehood.
In early May Fatah and Hamas signed a unity deal enabling the push for unilateral declaration. And though the Palestinian Authority controlled by Fatah has made great strides in reducing terrorism, Saeb Arakat gently condemned the use of violence, Hamas, with exclusive control of the Gaza Strip, remains dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Whether its condoning the use of terror, failing to prevent the launching of rockets into Israel from Gaza, don’t forget, yesterday’s attack included the firing of two long-range rockets from Gaza to the Israeli city of Ashkelon, or directly engaging in terrorism, Fatah’s deal with the Iranian backed terrorist group delegitimizes the peaceful nature of the stated intentions.
It’s worth noting the words found in Hamas’ charter ( Hamas Charter), unabridged since its 1988 publication. For example, its introduction contains the following:
Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.
Then, in Article 7:
The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!
Hamas’ actions have done nothing to diminish the impact of this language.
So whether Hamas executed, orchestrated, or merely allowed the attacks, the hostility towards Israel and Jews in general create an unsecure environment in which the Palestinians seek unilateral statehood. With the Sinai border now a security risk as well for the Israel’s, pursuit of unilateral declaration becomes even more destabilizing to the security of the region and prospects for peace.