Terrorists Know Israel Is Weak

Israel plans to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, and Hamas is claiming credit. Ever heard a terrorist gloat?

Ever heard a terrorist gloat?

Just listen to Ahmed al-Bahar, a top leader of Hamas, the Israel-based terrorist group that is becoming a major force in Palestinian politics. “All indications show that, since its establishment, Israel has never been in such a state of retreat and weakness as it is today following more than four years of the intifada,” he told reporters, as reported in the March 25 Jerusalem Post.

Bahar was referring to Israel’s plan to withdraw in the coming weeks from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank and turn complete sovereignty over to the Palestinians. Hamas is not at all shy about claiming credit for Israel’s retreat.

“The painful and qualitative blows which the Palestinian resistance dealt to the Jews and their soldiers over the past four-and-a-half years led to the decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip,” Bahar said. “The suicide attacks and the booby-trapped underground tunnels have taken their tolls on the Jews both psychologically and economically in addition to the high number of casualties.”

Jerusalem Newswire expressed it this way: “Israel’s plan to retreat from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria proves unrelenting Islamic terrorism has weakened the Jewish state in a way five full-scale wars failed to do, a senior Hamas official said Thursday.”

Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has said Israel is retreating from a position of strength, and he is making the move to increase security for Israel’s population.

It’s hard to see how.

Just as terrorists hailed Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon as the greatest victory scored by Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist group, they will inevitably view the Gaza pullback as another sign of the effectiveness of violence in scoring political victories. As chilling as it may be, it is difficult to deny the truth in the claim—as well as the probability of an increase in such measures in the future, given their proven effectiveness. Bahar hinted as much when he said, “The withdrawal marks the end of the Zionist dream and is a sign of the moral and psychological decline of the Jewish state. We believe that the resistance is the only way to pressure the Jews.”

The Trumpet’s March/April feature “New Hope in the Peace Process?” explained some of the facts behind the pressure on Israel to give up land and make other concessions. It is a subject we have visiting numerous times since the peace process began with Oslo accords of 1993. The Trumpet’s editor in chief has pointed to this process as being a “deadly wound,” actually fulfilling a key Bible prophecy.

Bahar’s comments are a bitter illustration of the truth in this assessment.