“The Gaza victory has paved the way to Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, the Negev, and the West Bank,” said senior Hamas official Ismail Radhwan at a rally in Qatar to mark the “Gaza victory.” Now that the war is over, many Hamas leaders have made it clear that they want to continue the struggle.
Hamas sees this fight as part of a bigger campaign leading to the capture of Jerusalem. “As we won the Gaza war, so we will win a war aimed at lifting the siege and opening the crossings, as a preliminary to the liberation of the country, the return [of the refugees], the liberation of Jerusalem, and extricating ourselves from the occupation,” said Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashal.
The leaders called for Palestinian Arabs living in the West Bank to rise up and join them. “We want an intra-Palestinian dialogue—but in order to provide it with the proper basis, the residents of the West Bank must rise up and resist until victory, as happened in Gaza,” said Mashal.
In Qatar, Mashal announced plans to “create a new supreme national authority, that will represent the Palestinians in [Israel] and outside it, and will include all the national Palestinian forces and all the streams in the Palestinian people .…” At the Qatar rally, speakers criticized both the Palestinian Liberation Organization (plo) and the Palestinian Authority, both of which are led by Mahmoud Abbas.
“In its present state, the plo no longer constitutes a supreme authority of the Palestinians; instead, it has turned into an administration aimed at dividing the Palestinian home,” said Mashal. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called for the PA to “Stand aside and catch your breath,” and to “Join what your people has chosen—jihad and resistance.”
Hamas has become a tool of Iran. Its purpose is to capture Jerusalem and destroy Israel. It will not be negotiated away from that goal. Ceasefires and such deals merely give it time to re-arm.
As we wrote in the latest print edition of the Trumpet “For more than 15 years, Israel’s enemies have used the peace process, which began in Oslo in 1993, to destroy the Jewish state. … The international community overwhelming favors this two-state ‘solution,’ seemingly blind to the obvious fact that a Palestinian state already exists alongside Israel—in Gaza. And it hasn’t solved anything.”
Iran desperately wants Jerusalem. Hamas will use this current peace to rebuild in Gaza, and to branch out to the West Bank. Watch for it to try to dominate the West Bank, either by coming to an agreement with Fatah or by wresting control of it. Hamas wants the West Bank, as it represents a major step toward Jerusalem.
For more information, see our booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy. ▪